Sports

How Much Did James Harden Sacrifice With His New Deal?

James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals at Wells Fargo Center on May 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

 

James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers officially agreed to a two-year deal Wednesday evening.

The two-year deal is worth $68.6 million and includes a player option for the second year.

Harden is guaranteed $33 million this upcoming season with the player option being for $35.6 million.

While the deal was made official this week, it was always assumed “The Beard” would be returning to Philly.

On June 29, Harden declined his $47.3 million player option for the upcoming season.

This allowed the Sixers the flexibility needed to bolster the roster.

On July 8, it was reported Harden would be taking a $15 million pay cut for the upcoming season “with the sole focus on a championship run in 2023”.

Both the opt-out and new contract announcement were made by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The pay cut was reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Harden has proven he is determined to win – even at the cost of his own pockets.

 

Harden Sacrificed Financially

Outside of the $14.3 million Harden is losing in the upcoming season, he did not sacrifice much else.

The two-year deal worked out between the two sides is seemingly a win-win.

While Harden will not be among the top five highest-paid players in the league, he is still inside the top 30.

For a player that has seemingly been on the decline the past two seasons, that is a good chunk of change.

Especially in a market that lacked teams with available cap space.

And if Harden regains his form this year, he can easily opt-out of his player option next offseason and sign for a max contract.

On the flip side, if he continues his slide or gets injured, he has nearly $36 million guaranteed.

Losing out on $14.3 million would be painful to anybody, but Harden – with nearly $270 million in career earnings – should be able to withstand the hit.

On the 76ers side, they get a potentially top-15 player when healthy for a top-30 salary.

No to mention the cap space that was freed up allowed them to make two quality depth signings.

And if Harden’s play continues to fall off, his money will still be off the books by 2024-25 when Tyrese Maxey’s extension kicks in.

Harden did leave some money on the table with this new deal, but that is about where the sacrifices end.

If he plays well, he will have a new max deal next offseason.

If he does not, he has $36 million guaranteed for a second season.




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