James Harden gets pay cut with 76ers
James Harden looks more mature this season than he did a decade ago when he wanted to be paid as top pick rather than as the league’s highest-paid sixth man. This version of Harden plays as a sixth man and seems more worried about getting the compensation it deserves for the Sixers’ bench unit. It is known that he and the Sixers are finalizing a two-year contract, with a player option next summer. The details of the contract are still being negotiated, but it will cut Harden’s earning potential by $15 million.
In an exclusive interview with Chris Haynes, NBA Insider of Yahoo SportsHarden confirmed that he is entering a friendly contract with his teammates in the name of a championship.
“I spoke to Daryl and it was explained how we can get better and what the market value is for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the squad, sign the guy we needed and give me whatever was left over,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “This is the bad thing that I want to win. I want to compete for the championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I am willing to spend less to put us in a position to accomplish that.”
Since Harden opted out, the Sixers have signed PJ Tucker, Harden’s longtime Houston teammate, to a three-year, $33 million deal. Danuel House, another former Rocket, accepted a two-year, $8.5 million deal, and Morey traded with De’Anthony Melton. The 76ers gave up most of their supporting cast for Harden, so it was a relief to see them plug holes in their roster.
Harden hasn’t returned to the Finals since the Thunder’s 2012 loss to Miami. There’s no reason not to let Boston run because its money is in the East. However, this is not an altruistic act to establish a winning culture. Harden must restore his game and his reputation. Harden turned his “too late” act of selflessness into an impressive PR campaign through Haynes’ bullhorn, but let’s be honest. After he spent his first season in Philly like Black Santa on the court – he was also put on post-season by Jimmy Butler – a five-year, $270 million max deal never to is an option.
That 5-year contract will pay him $60 million during the 37-year-old season. What that would look like in three years when he was as bad as an avocado on the sidewalk last season. The risk/reward is too high. In the post-season, Harden moved like a sloth and scored 18.2 points, 7.0 assists and 6.3 goals from 38% shots from the pitch in Philly’s second-round loss to Miami Heat. Harden blamed his lousy play on his inability to adapt quickly to the 76ers.
“If anyone else had those numbers, we would talk about them getting the maximum value. People are used to me averaging 40, 30 and so they see it as a down year. I was in Philadelphia for a few months and I had to learn quickly,” Harden explained to Haynes. “That’s just what it was. I’m in a good space physically and mentally right now, and I’m just looking forward to next season. “
Next season, title or not, Harden will want to secure his last major contract. If Harden learned anything from Chris Paul during their frustratingly brief time in Houston, it was how to play the money game. After a rough time in Houston, Paul’s prospects for a big payday were finally diminished due to the NBA’s “over 36 rule”, which prevented teams without Bird’s Rights from offering a four-year contract. years for players who will turn 36 during the course of their contract. As NBPA president, Paul negotiated that rule to be adjusted to the “over 38” rule, allowing Paul to sign a four-year extension into the 2018 season.
Harden is looking for a similar financial parachute from somebody when he was 34, but that deal doesn’t justify this season. However, the motive for Harden’s generosity is up for debate. If Harden is motivated to pursue the Benjamins in the summer of 2019, it will hopefully push him to training camp in mid-season form rather than him losing weight. During contract years, it’s the standard protocol to get you on your way. One Harden without motivation is one of the laziest people sports attractions. Anything that will trigger a brazen Harden in the post-season will prevent a reboot around Embiid sans Harden and take Philly fans off the cliff.