Harden’s new Philadelphia 76ers contract can affect his legacy: Option two
Option two is the five year/$223 million dollar super-max contract. At age 32, he has an ongoing two year fight with his hamstring that hinders him from the blend of NBA athleticism, ball handling, and crafty finishing is where this contract seems unlikely.
Maybe if it was a different person running the franchise it would happen. With Morey, it seems in my outlook that this option is the least likely. This is because of what happened in the playoffs when Joel Embiid missed the first two games to start the Miami series as well as battling those same injuries is pitiful team performances in games 5 and 6.
The money should be put into other guys and skill sets to add to the Embiid and Harden duo. We know Harden is his guy and the NBA is about relationships but this instance is where the relationship takes a backseat.
The vaunted $61 million that Harden would be making in his age 37 in the 2026-27 season is not something any front office would want to deal with. More of the same stated above in the first option is why Harden taking this deal affects his legacy negatively because he would be a bearded bold-faced liar.
If he says he wants to win at all costs yet gives himself the real prize, his largest contract ever or he believes he still is James Harden of the Houston era. Either way, it would not be a good look for all parties’ accounts.