After declining his huge player option, The Beard re-ups with Philly on a team-friendly deal. Let’s dive into the details of the 76ers’ James Harden contract.
James Harden finished a second consecutive NBA season in which he did not finish the year on the same team he started with. After heading from Brooklyn to Philadelphia in February while recovering from a nagging hamstring injury that dates back to the 2021 postseason, Harden’s superstar-level market value was perceived to have taken a dip — but the Sixers and GM Daryl Morey, who knows Harden better than most, were always determined to bring back The Beard.
After declining the 2022-23 player option that constituted the last year of his supermax contract, Harden has now agreed to an extension to keep him in Philly. The deal is valued at two years and $68.6 million, including a player option for the 2022-23 season.
Now 33 years old and headed into his 14th season, Harden may no longer be at his athletic peak, but Philly was more than sold on his ability to serve as a franchise star alongside Joel Embiid. With that in mind, let’s check out the full details of the Sixers’ new James Harden contract.
James Harden Contract Details & Salary
Total value: $68,600,000
Average annual value: $34,300,000
Free agency: 2023 (opt-out) or 2024 (player option)
Upcoming annual salary earnings:
2022-23: $32,980,769 (estimated)
2023-24: $34,619,231 (estimated; player option)
The deal is valuable for the Sixers, as it gave them a whole lot more cap flexibility to tinker with their roster, enabling the signing of veteran forward PJ Tucker. Had Harden chosen to opt into his $47 million player option, the goal of improving a team that underachieved in 2021-22 — they were eliminated in six games by the Toronto Raptors in the playoffs — would have been daunting given everything else they’ve already got on the books. Harden now gets a more modest player option after next year if he wants to guarantee anther payday; as far as NBA Twitter is concerned, he’s being lauded for voluntarily taking nearly $15 million less to help the team.
Despite the injuries impacting his play, Harden still averaged over 20 points and 35 minutes per game for the ninth straight season. The Sixers will now hope that Harden, MVP runner-up Joel Embiid, and coach Doc Rivers can break through in the playoffs and get the 76ers to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2000.
James Harden’s Career Earnings
TOTAL NBA EARNINGS THRU 2021-22: $268,660,574
ESTIMATED SALARY EARNINGS THRU 2023-24: $337,260,574 (requires exercising player option)