The Philadelphia 76ers are currently in the midst of a tough Eastern Conference semifinals showdown against the Miami Heat. Between Joel Embiid’s injury and the level of competition they’re going up against, they’ll most likely lose.
In that spirit, many have started to turn their attention onto Philly’s offseason. Specifically, what it may hold as it pertains to the future of recent trade acquisition, James Harden.
Obviously the Sixers traded for Harden at the NBA Trade Deadline with the expectation that he would eventually be inked to a long-term deal.
But what will that contract ultimately look like?
During a recent appearance on The Athletic’s NBA podcast, insider Sam Amick suggested that there may be an expectation that Harden will take less money.
“When the Sixers got him, their intel was that he would potentially be willing to take less,” Amick said. “And obviously, you know, nobody knows him better than Daryl (Morey).”
The financial ramifications of this are huge. In the fifth year of Harden’s next deal he could be owed more than $60 million. That’s quite a hefty amount for a 37-year-old with a bad work ethic who is already declining at age 32.
Harden is an interesting character. He is obviously supremely talented, but he has a knack for evoking bad blood from his teammates. There’s a reason why Kevin Durant hated him and his old Brooklyn Nets counterparts disliked him so vehemently.
Plus, he hasn’t exactly been a great influence on the young guys in the Sixers’ locker room.
She went from making 5 figures in 5 years to 6 figures in 1 month. https://t.co/5JWmQ4Sc3r
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 3, 2022
This offseason will be telling.
Can Harden still command a legit max deal at this point in his career? An answer will emerge soon enough.