James Harden declines player option, will negotiate new deal with 76ers

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Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden has reportedly declined his player option for 2022-23 and will negotiate a new deal with the team. 

According to multiple sources, Harden passed on his $47.3 million option to save the Sixers some money this offseason, offering cap flexibility for the free-agency period, which begins on June 30 at 6 p.m. 

The Sixers now have much more wiggle room this offseason, including the ability to sign free agents to the mid-level exception. 

Now that Harden has declined his option, it seemingly opens the door for the Sixers to sign veteran forward P.J. Tucker. Earlier this week, a report suggested the Sixers would offer the Tucker a three-year, $30 million contract. 

Philadelphia acquired Harden from the Brooklyn Nets ahead of this year’s trade deadline. The Sixers sent a package including disgruntled star Ben Simmons and two first-round draft picks to the Nets in exchange for the 10-time All-Star. 

In 21 regular-season games for the Sixers, Harden averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds and 1.2 steals. He averaged 18.6 points, 8.6 assists and 5.7 rebounds in 12 postseason games. 

After finishing the season 51-31, the Sixers’ campaign ended with another disappointing playoff run. 

Clinching the fourth seed in the East, Harden and the Sixers advanced after knocking off the Toronto Raptors in the first round but were eliminated in six games by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. 


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