James Harden has not committed to 76ers beyond this season?
The Philadelphia 76ers gave up a lot more than just Ben Simmons when they traded for James Harden on Thursday, and there have been some questions about whether Harden committed to his new team beyond the remainder of this season. Apparently he has not.
The Sixers sent Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first-round draft picks to Brooklyn in exchange for Harden. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Harden opted into his $47.3 million player option for next season as part of the deal, but Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice was told that is not accurate.
Neubeck reported on Friday that Harden has not assured Philadelphia he will opt in this summer. However, the Sixers are confident Harden will not be a half-season rental.
Essentially — Harden would have had to opt into next year prior to deal being completed, did not do so. He now would have to wait until end of year to opt in, or (obviously) could simply opt out and sign new long term deal
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) February 11, 2022
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has faced some questions about whether he gave up too much in the deal. Curry and Drummond are both capable of contributing, and there is no guarantee that Harden will remain in Philly beyond this season. That was obviously a risk Morey was willing to take.
While he did not explicitly request a trade, Harden reportedly wanted out of Brooklyn. It seemed likely that he was going to depart in free agency this summer, especially if he had issues with one of his teammates. The Sixers probably could have waited and tried to sign him in a few months, but they did not want to go that route.
Photo: Feb 16, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports