James Harden – Philadelphia 76ers
For months, there’s been speculation regarding what James Harden will do once free agency hits. He’ll almost certainly decline his player option, but will he opt to re-sign with the 76ers or return to the Houston Rockets, who have been mentioned as a strong suitor? NBA analysts and insiders have gone back and forth for months on the subject, but at the end of the day, it would not be too surprising if Harden signed an extension with the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has been very plugged in this off-season, the 76ers are operating like they have a good chance at retaining Harden. On top of that, rival teams who have shown interest in Harden have moved on and started looking elsewhere. That does not mean it is set in stone that Harden will return, but it’s tipping in that direction. The 76ers can offer Harden a raise while also giving him a chance to contend alongside one of the best big men in the league in MVP winner Joel Embiid, so it would make sense for him to stick around.
The question is how much Harden will make over how many years. After taking a pay cut on his last deal, he’ll likely want to make up for some of that on his next deal. It’s not going to be cheap for the Philadelphia 76ers, but if they want to keep the former MVP, they’ll have to pay up.
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