This was a long time coming as Harden first agreed to decline his player option worth around $47 million and it was rumored he take a pay cut worth around $15 million. It ended up being more than $14 million, but the Sixers should be thankful to Harden regardless.
Harden’s officially back with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Taking the pay cut allowed the 76ers to sign free agent P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. Both figure to be a part of the rotation entering next season. They bring the ability to also make an impact on both ends of the floor. Danny Green was the only player who did that from the wing position for Philly last season who wasn’t considered a part of the team’s core.
This deal shows two things about Harden which fans hadn’t seen as of late from him as he’s forced his way out of two franchises in the past two years. The first is, that he’s shown a willingness to sacrifice for winning.
It’s clear that Harden has always been trying to win and that’s why he forced his way out of a Houston Rockets team that exhausted its resources. He sacrificed for the Brooklyn Nets too until it become clear that Kyrie Irving made that situation toxic. With hindsight being 20/20, no one should blame Harden for pushing his way out, especially with how he’s treated Philly since his arrival.
The other thing this deal has revealed, which the second year is a $35.6 million dollar option (per Wojnarowski) is that he’s betting on himself to make a bounce back. If he performs like the prime version of himself this season, he could opt out and get a max contract next season.
This contract shows that Harden cares about putting the Philadelphia 76ers in the best position to win and that he’s also betting on himself as well.