James Harden officially signed a two-year contract to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers and will make about $14.5 million less this coming season than he could have earned under his previous deal, per multiple reports. The team announced the pact, which had been previously reported, on July 27.
The deal is worth slightly over $68 million, paying him about $33 million this season with a $35 million player option for the 2023-24 season. Harden had a $47.4 million option for this coming season that he declined last month, saying he wanted to give the 76ers flexibility to improve their roster and compete for a championship.
“This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal,” Harden said Wednesday. “From my first day with the 76ers organization, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia. I’m excited to build off of last season and I can’t wait to get out on the court with the guys and start this journey.”
Daryl Morey, team president of basketball operations, posted a photo on Instagram of him posing alongside Harden as the 10-time All-Star guard known as “The Beard” signed his contract.
“Now this looks like a job for we, ” Morey wrote.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) July 27, 2022
Free agent James Harden has agreed on a two-year, $68.6M deal, including a player option, to return to the 76ers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 20, 2022
Harden’s plans have been clear since Philadelphia’s season ended: He was committed to staying with the 76ers and committed to help them get better.
Giving back that much money — Harden basically gave himself a 30% pay cut for this coming season — allowed the 76ers to make moves such as signing power forward P.J. Tucker and small forward Danuel House earlier this month.
“We got some really good pieces this summer, so now it’s time for us to go do the hard work,” Harden said in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this week to promote the upcoming launch of a new wine label bearing his name.
The 76ers lost to top-seeded Miami in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Harden had four turnovers, four baskets and did not score in the second half in the decisive Game 6 loss. They haven’t advanced past the second round since 2001. Their last NBA championship came in 1983.
“I’ll be here,” Harden said on May 12, when Philadelphia’s season ended with a playoff loss to Miami. “Yeah, I’ll be here. Whatever makes this team, whatever allows this team to continue to grow and get better and do the things necessary to win and compete at the highest level.”
Harden is a three-time scoring champion and averaged 22.0 points and 10.3 assists during his time with Brooklyn and Philadelphia last season. The seven-time All-NBA player was the 2018 Kia MVP and is a member of the league’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Harden has appeared in 942 games (728 starts) with Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Houston and Oklahoma City and holds averages of 24.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.