July 27, 2022
James Harden's new contract has finally been made official.
The 32-year old guard put pen to paper on his reported two-year, $68.6 million deal on Wednesday, locking in the Sixers' plans to run it back with a big three of Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey.
“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal,” Harden said in a press release. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia. I’m excited to build off of last season and I can’t wait to get out on the court with the guys and start this journey.”
Coming over as the Sixers' key return in the Ben Simmons trade with Brooklyn at last season's deadline, Harden averaged 21.0 points and 10.5 assists through 21 regular-season games.
Off the bat, the Sixers' offense looked dominant, but that success tapered off as the playoffs approached and ultimately ended in a second-round exit to Miami with Harden struggling.
Harden had a player option for the 2022-23 season at $47 million, but opted out and took on this new deal at a lower annual value (about $33 million) to allow the Sixers to bolster their depth, which they moved on with the additions of P.J. Tucker and De'Anthony Melton.
After another postseason disappointment for both parties, Harden and the Sixers are going to give their title hopes together at least one more try — with a slightly reworked roster — and go from there.
As for what that might look like, our own Kyle Neubeck went in-depth on what this season's expectations for Harden should be HERE.
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