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#pounditMonday, August 15, 2022

James Harden willing to give 76ers a discount?

James Harden looking on

Nov 15, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) arrives to Toyota Center prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden was not exactly the superstar the Philadelphia 76ers hoped he would be when they acquired him in a blockbuster trade this season, but the two sides are committed to one another going forward. Harden could sign an extension with the team this summer, and he may even be willing to offer a discount.

Harden has a $47.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season. He would be eligible to sign a five-year max deal if he declines it. According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, it is more likely that Harden will sign a short-term extension with the Sixers. Either way, the 76ers want Harden to remain in Philly and the feeling is mutual.

Fischer notes that some NBA personnel believe Harden could potentially sign for less than max contract money in order to help the 76ers build a championship contending roster around him.

Harden will turn 33 in August. Some players in his position might want to secure as much money as they possibly can, but he is still chasing his first NBA title. That may be more of a motivating factor for him at this point in his career.

There have been plenty of questions about Harden’s work ethic in recent years. He was even criticized by an ex-teammate recently over his style of play. Harden may feel he has something to prove, and giving the Sixers a discount could be one way to help him prove it.

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