James Harden could re-sign with Sixers for less than the max?

On a recent episode of The Athletic NBA Show, Sam Amick shared some intel on James Harden’s contract situation with the Philadelphia 76ers. Amick says Philadelphia may know Harden won’t demand a max deal in free agency. “When the Sixers got him, their intel was that he would potentially be willing to take less. And obviously, you know, nobody knows him better than Daryl (Morey),” said Amick.
Source: RealGM

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Tommy Beer @TommyBeer
Over the last ten playoff games he’s appeared in (dating back to Game 5 of last year’s series vs. Milwaukee),
James Harden is averaging:
17.3 points on 38% shooting – 1:48 PM

Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#NBA column: Can James Harden and his teammates pick up the offensive slack tonight in Game 2 the way Tobias Harris in Monday’s loss to the #Heat without Joel Embiid? https://t.co/7BEtMsHkLJ pic.twitter.com/XDYwxY9bpE1:05 PM

Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
P.J. Tucker explains ‘Heat Culture,’ feeling good at 36, Pat Riley, leaving the Bucks, guarding James Harden, why he’s the NBA’s wine king and much more in @andscape. #nba #heat #NBAPlayoffs bit.ly/3vRxp6p12:02 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
Would James Harden take less than max to stay with 76ers? nba.nbcsports.com/2022/05/04/wou…11:07 AM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
From PM: On James Harden, who is dominating the conversation on national talk shows but isn’t dominating the Heat. And smallball and a bunch of Heat things, including an unusual admission from Doc Rivers, as Herro and Strus are targeted: miamiherald.com/sports/spt-col…9:26 AM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
On the decline of James Harden and what the Heat is doing about it; 76ers both trash talk and praise Heat; lineup decision; and candid stuff from Doc Rivers, including something few coaches ever admit: miamiherald.com/sports/spt-col…9:23 PM

Sirius XM NBA @SiriusXMNBA
“[James Harden] has played almost 39,000 minutes…it will catch up to you.”
With Joel Embiid out, @adaniels33 has concerns that James Harden can carry the load for the 76ers against Miami #PhilaUnite pic.twitter.com/Gw0hgAER6i5:51 PM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
NEW: Tons of stuff from Sixers’ posh Brickell hotel today, and more Game 1 fallout: What Heat is doing to Harden & what 76ers are saying about it; 76ers serve up both trash talk & praise for Heat; interesting admission from Rivers; Embiid update; more: miamiherald.com/sports/spt-col…5:30 PM

Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#NBA column: The #Sixers must take better care of the ball, keep the #Heat off of offensive glass and have James Harden take more than 4 2nd-half shots if they hope to avoid falling behind 2-0 vs #Heat: https://t.co/7BEtMsHkLJ #76ers pic.twitter.com/9K2cYfQXpp3:45 PM

James Harden @JHarden13
Mamba Forever 🐍 Proud that @DrinkBODYARMOR is partnering with @mambamambacitasports to support youth sports #MambaForeverdrink pic.twitter.com/Dy5j90hXWi3:05 PM

Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#NBA column: Tobias Harris excels in Game 1 loss to #Heat without Joel Embiid, but the #Sixers need James Harden to take more than 13 shots: https://t.co/7BEtMsHkLJ pic.twitter.com/la5NTGWP6012:05 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
While the Heat split defensive assignment vs. Trae Young between a few different defenders, it was nearly all P.J. Tucker on James Harden last night.
Tucker spent 29 possessions as Harden’s primary defender in Game 1. Strus was second with eight possessions (mostly on switches). – 11:27 AM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Likes and dislikes from Game 1 in Miami:
—Harden being a “he created open threes though” guy
—Tobias locking in once again
—Atrocious rebounding
And more:
phillyvoice.com/sixers-vs-heat…10:41 AM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
James Harden shot 1 of 5 last night when defended by Max Strus
That development has been something – 10:26 AM

Shandel Richardson @ShandelRich
James Harden will have to make adjustments for Game 2. Will it matter? #miamiheat si.com/nba/heat/miami…10:02 AM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Takeaways and postgame reaction from the Heat’s Game 1 win over the 76ers, which was again fueled by defense miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia… More on the Heat defense’s plan vs. Harden, Adebayo and Herro’s big night, how the 76ers filled the void Embiid left behind and other stuff – 9:33 AM

Justin Kubatko @jkubatko
James Harden now has 18 career playoff games in which he’s shot less than 40% from the field and committed five or more turnovers.
Since the NBA began tracking individual turnovers in 1977-78, only LeBron James (22) and Russell Westbrook (20) have recorded more such games. pic.twitter.com/S1qLtzrsx09:31 AM

John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
5 takeaways from Heat-Sixers, Game 1…
▪️ The Sixers’ center problem.
▪️ The good & bad of Philly’s zone.
▪️ Targeting Tyler Herro.
▪️ Not enough from Harden.
▪️ The Heat’s wrinkle on a familiar ATO.
nba.com/news/5-takeawa…9:16 AM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Five Degrees of Heat from Monday night’s 106-92 victory over the 76ers: sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
1. Eventually, overwhelming.
2. Bam Adebayo makes most of Joel Embiid absence.
3. Tyler Herro … is back.
4. P.J. Tucker harasses James Harden.
5. No time for Duncan Robinson. – 8:28 AM

Anthony Puccio @APOOCH
James Harden isn’t shooting nearly as much as Doc told him to in March. He attempted 13 shots tonight with Joel Embiid sidelined.
He hasn’t had 20+ FGA since he got to Philly
His 18.6 PPG this postseason is his lowest since 2011-12
And.. 76ers now 6-9 without Embiid this year – 1:24 AM

Ramona Shelburne @ramonashelburne
There are few things in the NBA more precious than time and space. The
Philadelphia 76ers and James Harden had neither of them Monday night in a loss to the Miami Heat espn.com/nba/story/_/id…1:09 AM

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina
had a few quick thoughts about game 1, the need to make life easy for james harden, and more: si.com/nba/2022/05/03…11:58 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
James Harden on PJ Tucker: ““P.J. is P.J. P.J. is P.J. Plays hard, but it’s not something that I’m worried about.” – 11:01 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
If James Harden and Joel Embiid went to Daryl Morey and said “yo what’s the deal with Doc’s rotations, can’t you help?”
What would the answer be? – 10:45 PM

Austin Krell @NBAKrell
Blame to go around for this one. Rough Doc night. Lot of self-inflicted wounds. James Harden was largely MIA, too:
thepaintedlines.com/wasted-opportu…10:45 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
Five Degrees of Heat from Monday night’s 106-92 victory over the 76ers: sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…
1. Eventually, overwhelming.
2. Bam Adebayo makes most of Joel Embiid absence.
3. Tyler Herro . . . is back.
4. P.J. Tucker harasses James Harden.
5. No time for Duncan Robinson. – 10:43 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
P.J. Tucker says the last time he played full court defense on somebody like he did on Harden tonight was last season as a member of the Bucks — in the East Semis on Kevin Durant. – 10:28 PM

Barry Jackson @flasportsbuzz
A writer (not sure who) asked Harden what Miami did to keep off the free throw line (he was 4 for 4): “Next question,” Harden said, shaking his head…..Asked about PJ Tucker’s good defense against him: “PJ is PJ. Plays hard. That’s not something I’m worried about.” – 10:26 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
James Harden only attempted 13 shots tonight without Joel Embiid.
He has zero games with 20 shot attempts with the Sixers. pic.twitter.com/6uJjwiBFyX10:04 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
FINAL: Heat 106, Sixers 92 to take Game 1. Heat started strong and then pulled away in emphatic fashion. Sixers shot 6-of-34 from 3. Harris with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 6 rebounds. Harden with 16-9-5 but 5-of-13 from the floor. Bam with 24-12-4.
Game 2 is Wednesday. – 9:51 PM

Brian Mahoney @briancmahoney
Hard not to feel a little bad for Harden. He needs a title and he’s basically lost an All-NBA team to injury late in the last few years for series he could’ve won. CP3, Embiid, Kyrie, Aldridge (retired last year before playoffs), etc. – 9:45 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Isaiah Joe is getting ready to come in. Tyrese Maxey and James Harden to the bench. Game 1 will belong to the Heat. #Sixers9:41 PM

Jason Dumas @JDumasReports
Doc going to keep Maxey, Harden, and Tobias in til the final buzzer isn’t he – 9:40 PM

Mike Lynch @SportInfo247
If this is what harden has got in this spot, you simply can’t re-sign him without a discount – 9:37 PM

Chris Mannix @SIChrisMannix
Sixers need more from James Harden. A lot more. – 9:36 PM

Ethan J. Skolnick @EthanJSkolnick
James Harden has as many turnovers as field goals: 5
Tyler Herro has 9 field goals and no turnovers
@5ReasonsSports9:36 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
Sixers hung tough most of the night — but they have few answers offensively without Embiid. Any Nets fan could tell you that Harden just isn’t the type of player who can take over games consistently anymore. Heat’s defense has been locked in throughout much of this one. – 9:32 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Pretty weak give-up by Harden against Adebayo under the rim. Could jump straight up and make him him go thru that barrel chest, instead it’s a jump to the side and fake hustle swipe – 9:31 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Sixers are now 4-of-24 from 3.
Maxey: 0-for-5
Niang: 0-for-4
Green: 1-of-5
Harris: 1-of-3
Harden: 2-for-7 – 9:17 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
If Heat challenge this I believe they’d win. Harden wrapped up Tucker’s arm first before any other contact, supposed to be a point of education this year. – 9:16 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
While that Harden hubbub was going on, Doc just called Georges Niang over and had a pretty…strong…message for him. – 9:16 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
DJ actually hasn’t been too terrible in the 2nd half. Blocked Butler, got a very good contest on that Herro fadeaway, had a nice cut on the find from Harden for a dunk. – 9:10 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
P.J. Tucker with five offensive rebounds tonight while defending James Harden all the way down the court for most of the game. – 9:05 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
James Harden gave an impassioned plea to official Marc Davis before half. He has a point too. Broadcast talked about contact Heat were getting away with on Sixers shooters. No call here … pic.twitter.com/UF0d1ikhGP8:49 PM

John Hollinger @johnhollinger
Pretty brutal miss by the refs on Adebayo hitting Harden on the 3. Thought Butler also got fouled by Niang on jumper a couple minutes earlier. – 8:37 PM

Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
A very encouraging first half for the @Philadelphia 76ers, leading, 51-50 (!), at halftime.
Harris: 14 PTS / 4 REB
Harden: 12 PTS / 6 REB / 3 AST
Maxey: 10 PTS
The Heat led by as many as 14 in the first half. – 8:36 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Halftime: Sixers — somehow — lead the Heat 51-50. They clawed back twice after a terrible start. Harden with 12 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Harris with 14 and 4. Paul Reed was by far the most effective center, but picked up three fouls. Sixers forced 10 Heat turnovers. – 8:35 PM

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Sixers hold the Heat to just 2 points in a nearly 5 minute run to end the half and take a 51-50 lead into the break. Tobias Harris has 14 on 6-11 shooting to lead the way, with Tyrese Maxey (10) and James Harden (12) also making big contributions.
Various center options played. – 8:35 PM

Austin Krell @NBAKrell
Harden gets hit whilst shooting a lot and does not get very many whistles. – 8:35 PM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
#Sixers lead 51-50 at the half. Harris with 14 points. Harden with 12 and Maxey 10. – 8:34 PM

Dan Favale @danfavale
that was a strooooong take by harden – 8:34 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Harden layup with 28 seconds left in the half for Philly’s first lead. 51-50 at the break. – 8:33 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
PJ Tucker gives up no ground on Harden
Great scramble switch from Gabe/Strus
Bam heads in other direction
Butler layup – 8:25 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Heat are extremely attuned to either Maxey or Harden on Herro. Harden in particular is too good to just help, I think Heat need to just live with that matchup until Harden kills it repeatedly. (I know he hit one stepback on Herro) – 8:18 PM

Noah Levick @NoahLevick
Just two first-quarter FTs for the Sixers without Joel Embiid, who averaged an NBA-high 11.8 in the regular season.
James Harden and Tyrese Maxey a combined 2 for 9 from the floor, 1 for 5 from three. – 8:04 PM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
James Harden and Tyrese Maxey were a combined 2-8 in the first quarter. – 8:04 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Heat 30, Sixers 22 at the end of the first. Sixers within striking distance despite committing 7 turnovers for 11 points and allowing a hot shooting start. Harden has 5 points on 1-of-4 shooting, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. – 8:02 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Sixers going small, with Niang at the 5 alongside Harden, Maxey, Thybulle and Harris. – 8:00 PM

Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
First small-ball lineup of the series for the @Philadelphia 76ers to close Q1:
Maxey / Thybulle / Harden / Niang / Harris – 8:00 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Caleb Martin in the game as the fourth Heat reserve. He’s now being used to pressure James Harden with P.J. Tucker on the bench. – 7:58 PM

Chris Herring @Herring_NBA
The Harden-Herro dynamic is gonna be interesting – 7:53 PM

Lauren Rosen @LaurenMRosen
Things the @Philadelphia 76ers will continue to love to see, if they can keep up this run:
-Harden stepback 3’s
-Bball Paul steals
-Matisse Thybulle scoring on the break
Using all 3, the @Philadelphia 76ers close a once 14-point Heat lead to 5. Plenty of ball left to play. – 7:53 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
A James Harden triple and a Matisse Thybulle layup brings Philly to within 5 and considering how poorly they’ve played to start this game, they’ve gotta feel good about that #Sixers7:52 PM

Gina Mizell @ginamizell
Sixers are within five after Harden buries the step-back and Thybulle gets the transition layup. That feels miraculous given how poorly they’ve played in this quarter. Heat 25, Sixers 20 at the 2:34 mark of the first. – 7:52 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
Harden clearly decided “OK if Tucker just slide his feet then fly back on contact then I can get the same call.” No 🎲🎲 pic.twitter.com/pL4N4RUubm7:50 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
Kinda odd Miami didn’t just switch that Harden/Reed PnR with Strus/Bam. Instead, 2 on the ball and Harden sets up the layup. – 7:46 PM

Jorge Sierra @hoopshype
Make a prediction on James Harden for the series vs. Miami. – 7:45 PM

Nate Duncan @NateDuncanNBA
It would be nice for Philly if James Harden didn’t give up trying to get the ball so easily, given Tucker is going to just deny him all game and he’s kind of important to their offense. – 7:41 PM

Adam Spolane @AdamSpolane
P.J. Tucker isn’t giving James Harden a millimeter of space – 7:40 PM

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell
P.J. Tucker is all over James Harden up and down the floor. Everywhere Harden goes from the time the Sixers inbound the ball — there’s Tucker. The Heat are going to wear Harden out in this series. – 7:38 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
PJ Tucker contested corner 3 off the kick
Then immediate denial off the inbound on Harden
Man he’s ready – 7:35 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
PJ Tucker is picking up James Harden 94 feet. – 7:35 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
P.J. Tucker gets the James Harden assignment to start the game. And Tucker is picking him up full court. – 7:34 PM

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
PJ Tucker on James Harden to start is Spo dropping a mic. – 7:34 PM

John Schuhmann @johnschuhmann
Sixers in 120 minutes w/ Harden & Jordan on the floor together in the regular season…
OffRtg: 103.2
DefRtg: 120.2
NetRtg: -17.1
go.nba.com/9zn3a7:25 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
With tonight’s appearance, James Harden ties Charles Oakley and Reggie Miller for 51st on the NBA all-time playoff-appearance list. – 7:06 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
So, my quick thoughts on Miami’s defensive approach:
Force Harden the scorer, until they see Harden the scorer
Guard him straight up on PnR drives, and stay home on shooters off kicks
That’s what he wants to get to
Maxey will see a ton of pressure tho with Gabe/Jimmy – 7:03 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
DeAndre Jordan to starting in place of sidelined Joel Embiid for the 76ers. Also Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Tyrese Maxey and James Harden. – 7:02 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Pregame reading …
Heat-76ers playoff primer: Important questions surrounding the series, how Joel Embiid’s absence changes things, what to expect from James Harden, an important Heat player to watch and more miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…6:54 PM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
Give Em To Me! I want your Game 1 predictions for the #Sixers vs. #miamiheat #NBAPlayoffs Eastern Conference second-rounder. I want the winner, final score and points for Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo #PhilaUnite #HEATCulture – 6:44 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Some James Harden work in South Florida #Sixers pic.twitter.com/illqTDyD4M6:28 PM

Brady Hawk @BradyHawk305
Safe to say James Harden is hitting in warmups pic.twitter.com/uO3rz4wxdh6:27 PM

Jon Johnson @jonjohnsonwip
All eyes on James Harden – 6:18 PM

Austin Burton @Amaar_206
I’m down for a vintage Harden game (the good version) or three until Embiid comes back theringer.com/2022/5/2/23053… via @ringer5:23 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Per @Ben Falk, 76ers were outscored by 11.6 points per 100 possessions in the 374 possessions that Harden played w/o Embiid in the regular season. In the first round, the 76ers were outscored by 6.8 points per 100 possessions in Harden’s minutes w/o Embiid. – 3:01 PM

Kevin O’Connor @KevinOConnorNBA
New article on what the Sixers need from James Harden with Joel Embiid out for Games 1 and 2, plus some thoughts on how Harden is adapting his game as a playmaker. @ringer theringer.com/2022/5/2/23053…12:55 PM

Marc Berman @NYPost_Berman
Beard Time: All the pressure is on James Harden now #Sixers #Nets #NBA #Heat nypost.com/2022/05/02/nba…12:34 PM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
Hello from Miami. It’s going to be the James Harden show for at least the first two games of this series, which provides a decorated player a chance to start changing what people think of him
phillyvoice.com/sixers-vs-heat…11:11 AM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Doc Rivers and James Harden meeting before shootaround today #Sixers pic.twitter.com/Al7XAo8zbg10:36 AM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Heat-76ers playoff primer: Important questions surrounding the series, how Joel Embiid’s absence changes things, what to expect from James Harden, an important Heat player to watch and more miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…9:14 AM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
PAGING JAMES: #Sixers call on James Harden for points vs. #MiamiHeat inquirer.com/sixers/76ers-s… via @phillyinquirer #NBAPlayoffs7:38 AM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
PAGING JAMES: Sixers call on James Harden for points vs. Heat inquirer.com/sixers/76ers-s… via @phillyinquirer – 7:03 AM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
Without Joel Embiid, the Sixers offense will turn to James Harden for points inquirer.com/sixers/76ers-s… via @phillyinquirer – 10:50 PM

Austin Krell @NBAKrell
I’ll go into more detail on this in my series preview (coming soon), but I think PJ Tucker is the X-factor of MIA/PHI.
The Heat will probably counter the Sixers’ switch-hunting by playing Tucker on smalls. If he can hold his own & contain Harden/Maxey, it’ll be 2-0 Miami quick. – 9:32 PM

Anthony Chiang @Anthony_Chiang
Heat-76ers playoff primer: Important questions surrounding the series, why Joel Embiid’s absence changes things A LOT, what to expect from James Harden, an important Heat player to watch and more miamiherald.com/sports/nba/mia…8:09 PM

Ira Winderman @IraHeatBeat
From earlier — With 76ers’ Joel Embiid out, are Heat about to give James Harden the Trae Young treatment? (Updated with quotes.) sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-h…4:54 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
24 points on 25 shots with 12 dimes in a road win? Feels like James Harden has that comfortably in his range of outcomes. pic.twitter.com/W4vtVM5kNJ3:45 PM

Sam Quinn @SamQuinnCBS
The Celtics just made the second-fewest 2-pointers in NBA playoff history (10).
The record, which Boston only avoided in garbage time, belongs to 2017 Rockets in James Harden’s infamous Game 6 disaster against the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/XBhYnlpAWC3:39 PM

More on this storyline

Sam Amick: When the Sixers got (James Harden), their intel was that he would potentially be willing to take less. And obviously, you know, nobody knows him better than Daryl (Morey). -via Spotify / May 4, 2022

“So here’s my second conspiracy theory,” said Zach Lowe on his podcast. “This one, James Harden himself just debunked, if you care about what is said at press conferences. So James Harden, it was reported I think by The Athletic, that James Harden opted in as part of his trade to Philadelphia. Then it was reported hours later that he in fact had not opted in. Then it was reported days later that the reason he had not opted in was that he just missed the deadline to file the paperwork with the NBA league office. The fax got stuck in the machine. Or the signature couldn’t be found or something. “Here’s the conspiracy. This is the one going around the league that James Harden, to be clear, just debunked. He’s going to decline his option, re-sign for less money, so that Philadelphia can dump Tobias Harris into somebody’s cap space and open up if they dump some other people an almost, almost, almost max slot for a third star. That’s the one that’s going around the league. And people who say that are like, ‘If that happens, some eyebrows at the league office might be raised.’ -via RealGM / February 16, 2022

Rich Hoffman: James Harden said that he plans to opt in to the final year of his contract but has not done so yet: “Everything happened so fast.” -via Twitter @rich_hofmann / February 15, 2022