James Harden opts out and to take pay cut to help 76ers bolster their roster

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Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden has decided to opt out of his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season in order to return to the franchise on a free-agent contract that gives the team financial flexibility to bolster the roster, sources tell The Athletic.
Source: Shams Charania @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Tim Bontemps @TimBontemps
James Harden, after Philly’s Game 6 loss to Miami in May, on what his future contract situation would look like: “I’ll be here,” Harden said. “Whatever allows us to continue to grow and get better and do the things necessary to win and compete at a high level.” – 5:17 PM

Kurt Helin @basketballtalk
James Harden declining player option on 76ers contract nba.nbcsports.com/2022/06/29/jam…5:16 PM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
#Sixers’ James Harden opts out of deal, forgoes $47 million payday for free agency. This opens the door to sign PJ Tucker in free agency inquirer.com/sixers/sixers-… via @phillyinquirer – 5:14 PM

John Hollinger @johnhollinger
I had a $46.6 million BORD$ valuation for 2022-23 on James Harden — not much different from the $47.4 million he opted out of — but the out years on a longer deal could get tricky
theathletic.com/3351204/2022/0…5:14 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
Your quick newser on James Harden opting out of his deal and the flexibility it provides the franchise #Sixers sixerswire.usatoday.com/2022/06/29/jam… via @SixersWire5:13 PM

Austin Krell @NBAKrell
James Harden asked out of BKN, underperformed, and is open to taking less money to help his team.
He was criticized for quitting on BKN, while Kyrie Irving selfishly missed more than half of the season due to personal decisions and then tried to force the Nets into a max deal. – 5:13 PM

Noah Levick @NoahLevick
James Harden is declining his player option for 2022-23, source confirms.
Harden after Game 6 loss to MIA on his option: “I’ll be here, yeah. Whatever allows this team to continue to grow and get better — and do the things necessary to win and compete at the highest level.” – 5:11 PM

StatMuse @statmuse
James Harden with the Sixers:
21.0 PPG
7.1 RPG
10.5 APG
The first 20/5/10 season in franchise history. pic.twitter.com/Xw7QusgalT5:11 PM

Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers
James Harden has declined his $47.3 million option, a league source has confirmed. He intends to remain a Sixers#. #makingroomforpjtuckerflow? – 5:09 PM

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
76ers‘ 10-time All-Star James Harden decides to opt out of $47.4 million deal for 2022-23, provide flexibility to the franchise as he fully focuses on title run.
@TheAthletic story: theathletic.com/news/james-har…5:08 PM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
James Harden declined his $47 million player option, making him an unrestricted free agent, the expectation being he will agree to a new deal to stay in Philly. What that means for the Sixers and Harden this summer and moving into the future phillyvoice.com/james-harden-o…5:08 PM

Justin Grasso @JGrasso_
James Harden is declining his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season, per @Shams Charania. As expected, Harden plans to return to the team on a new deal #Sixers5:06 PM

Adrian Wojnarowski @wojespn
ESPN Sources: 76ers star James Harden has declined his $47.3M option and become a free agent. He keeps real the possibility of negotiating a new deal that would deliver the Sixers roster-building flexibility in free agency – including use of the full $10.5M exception. – 5:05 PM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
James Harden is opting out of the final year of his contract, a source confirmed to @thephillyvoice5:05 PM

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania
Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden is declining his $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and intends to return on a contract in free agency that gives the team financial flexibility to bolster the roster, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. – 5:05 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
56 minutes until James Harden has to make his decision #Sixers4:04 PM

Tom Moore @TomMoorePhilly
#NBA story: James Harden is reportedly on verge of opting out of his $47.4 million option to give the #Sixers space to sign at least one impact player: https://t.co/o9sKKidGnH #76ers pic.twitter.com/5zU4azs7bJ3:47 PM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Either the 76ers are pulling off some serious cap wizardry or Kyrie Irving distracted us from the fact that James Harden is actually the one taking a $30M pay cut. – 3:38 PM

Bobby Marks @BobbyMarks42
What would James Harden opting-out mean to the 76ers?
| NBA Today youtu.be/6k4P4QSJRmw via @YouTube3:33 PM

Ky Carlin @Ky_Carlin
If Philly is telling teams they’ll have the bi-annual exception as well in free agency, then it sounds like James Harden will definitely opt out and restructure his contract. That clears the way for P.J. Tucker. #Sixers3:23 PM

Dave Early @DavidEarly
If Harden took a $10M discount in year one and let’s say $36.9M for ’23, the team could unlock a larger Mid-level exception AND a Bi-Annual exception, which it sounds like they’re targeting. But Harden could only (🤣) then earn about $120-3 yrs.
bit.ly/3bCb30G3:21 PM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
while we wait on the Harden option decision, a (mini) Tobias Harris trade rumor appears phillyvoice.com/nba-trade-rumo…3:07 PM

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA
Morning newsletter: recapping the Tucker reports, acknowledging that something isn’t lining quite up, and thinking that Harden opting out is the only thing that makes sense. dailysix.com/morning-sixers…9:14 AM

Kyle Neubeck @KyleNeubeck
A (relatively) quick explainer on what the Sixers’ financial options are heading into free agency, and how that changes based on what James Harden decides today phillyvoice.com/nba-free-agenc…8:50 AM

Dane Moore @DaneMooreNBA
Most effective pick and roll ball handlers (including passes) in the NBA last season, per Synergy (minimum 200 possessions)
1. James Harden: 1.164 PPP
2. Seth Curry: 1.142
3. Jaylen Nowell: 1.123
4. Chris Paul: 1.108
5. Kevin Durant: 1.103 pic.twitter.com/S6ik85MRon12:43 AM

Keith Smith @KeithSmithNBA
Remaining options:
B. Beal WAS- PO
O. Brissett IND- TO
K. Edwards BKN- TO
W. Gabriel LAL- TO
S. Johnson LAL- TO
J. Harden PHI- PO
S. Hauser BOS- TO
P. Mills BKN- PO
J. Morgan BOS- TO
M. Muscala OKC- TO
J. Nowell MIN- TO
B. Portis MIL- PO
N. Reid MIN- TO
I. Roby OKC- TO – 6:19 PM

More on this storyline

 

Harden made the decision in recent weeks and communicated a clear goal to 76ers officials: winning a championship in Philadelphia next season. Harden opting out and taking less opens up a path for the 76ers to make legitimate upgrades for their roster for the upcoming season, beginning Thursday night when the free-agency period opens. -via The Athletic / June 29, 2022

Lowering Harden’s salary from $47.4 million allows 76ers president Daryl Morey to offer free agents the $10.5 million non-taxpayer midlevel exception without any other moves, flexibility Morey would have had difficulty creating by trading players already on guaranteed contracts. -via The Athletic / June 29, 2022

Multiple sources said Harden returned to his workout and on-court regimen much sooner than usual this offseason, and has been ramping up his conditioning and training as the summer progresses. Typically, NBA players take time off before entering their offseason schedule, but Harden returned to his training just two weeks after the season ended on May 12. 76ers assistant Sam Cassell has spent extensive time running Harden’s regimen this summer, sources said. -via The Athletic / June 29, 2022