James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers have agreed to a two-year contract extension that will cut his 2022-23 salary by $15 million. Harden is taking the pay cut to help the team surround him with better players, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
Sources: James Harden is taking a $15 million paycut for next season that allowed Philadelphia to elevate roster — with sole focus on a championship run in 2023. Harden opted out of his $47M player option and now plans to sign a new two-year deal with a player option in Year 2.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2022
Last year was a down season for Harden from a scoring perspective, as he averaged 21.0 points – his lowest mark in ten years. He struggled in the shooting department, particularly, with his 40% field goal percentage and 33% three-point shooting well below his career numbers (44% and 36%, respectively).
As we’ve previously noted on Outkick, Philly wants to add a third star to go with Harden and superstar Joel Embiid. Harden’s new deal paves the way for them to add. The extension locks him in Philly for next season, but he will have a player option for the following season.
Everyone around Harden has understood the focus on his workout regimen this offseason and a championship goal for 2022-23. His close relationships with those around the organization, including Michael Rubin and Daryl Morey, played a major role in trust between the two sides. https://t.co/q1eDY9xrDy— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 8, 2022
There has been a lot of chatter about Harden’s offseason workout program, and a video came out on Thursday showing assistant coach Sam Cassell working with Harden and backcourt mate Tyrese Maxey:
Philadelphia won a first round series against the Toronto Raptors before they were bounced by the Miami Heat in the conference semifinals. The 76ers haven’t reached the Eastern Conference Finals since 2001-02, when they lost in the NBA Finals against the Lakers.