Philadelphia 76ers Welcome Back James Harden With Two-Year, $68.6 Million Deal

The Philadelphia 76ers are welcoming back point guard James Harden with a two-year, $68.6 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Though there was little speculation of Harden departing Philly this offseason, the conversation started to build around whether Harden’s next contract could be friendly to the team’s objective to attract more talent; also with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris’ hefty contracts on the books.

Harden’s commitment to building a championship-caliber team showed with his offseason pay cut.

The newly announced two-year deal guarantees $33 million of Harden’s salary in 2022-23, with a $35.6 million player option his second year.

In June, Harden declined his $47.4 million option — ultimately accepting $13 million less to help the franchise.

Once Harden landed in Philly — after a trade deadline deal between the Brooklyn Nets and Sixers — Harden sought to not only construct a dynamic duo with the 76ers big man in Embiid, but build a bona fide contending team in the East.

In his first 20 games with Philadelphia, Harden led the team to a 13-7 record.

A lingering hamstring issue and declining three-point shooting percentage hindered the 10-time All-Star’s impact on the offense.

The Sixers ended last season 51-31 and were bounced by the Miami Heat (4-2) in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Harden held talks with Philadelphia exec Daryl Morey on his upcoming deal and the reported discussion regarding accruing more talent in the offseason, should Harden accept less than his market value.

Harden agreed with Philly’s direction and is back to pursuing a championship in the highly contested East.

Philadelphia has made a pair of solid acquisitions this offseason, including Miami Heat veteran forward PJ Tucker and outside shooter Danuel House.

Written by Alejandro Avila

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