Since leaving the Houston Rockets during the 2020-21 season, James Harden has not had much stability since then. He played 80 games with the Brooklyn during the regular season and nine during the postseason. Then he forced a trade to the 76ers where he played 79 regular season games and 23 in the postseason. Reports now say that the 10-time all-star intends to decline his $35.6 million player option for next season.
Bleacher Reports’ Chris Haynes had the news today that Harden will not be with Philadelphia next season. The 2017-18 MVP will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Harden is looking for a long-term deal. At 33 years old, he is still playing at an extremely high level.
This past season Harden led the league with (10.7) assists per game. The second time he’s done that in his career. Rumors have been swirling around the league that Harden could end up back with the Houston Rockets. A franchise he’s more than familiar with.
Where will James Harden play next season? 👀 pic.twitter.com/tKvO53SPZv
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 15, 2023
James Harden is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer
Last offseason, James Harden took a sizeable pay cut to help the 76ers build their roster. However, he was also strategic in his contract negotiations and had a one-year player option in place for next season. Reports came out today that Harden has declined that #$35.6 million player option for next season and is looking for a four-year contract.
Chris Haynes reported that “Harden will only entertain suitors that present a competitive roster and the basketball freedom for the star to be himself”. That does not fit where the Houston Rockets are at as a franchise, despite reports saying Harden could be headed there this offseason.
Recent reports also say that Harden has the Phoenix Suns on his radar. That might not be a viable option anymore as the Suns said they plan on having Chris Paul as their starting PG next season. With Doc Rivers being fired this week, you can’t blame Harden for not wanting to wait around in Philly and see how the future plays out. At 33, he only has so many years left where he can play at an elite level.
Source: Basketball Insider