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NBA

NBA free agency: James Harden takes $15 million pay cut to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden will be taking a salary cut to be able to keep playing with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Update:
James Harden will be taking a salary cut to be able to keep playing with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Mitchell LeffAFP

James Harden will be staying with the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2022-23 NBA season, but he may be making much less money to be able to do so.

James Harden’s salary slash

Harden and the Sixers have agreed to a new contract that will result in a $15 million pay cut for the 32-year-old and will help improve the team’s roster, “with sole focus on a championship run in 2023,” according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Harden opted out of his $47M player option and now plans to sign a new two-year deal with a player option in Year 2,” per Charania. This would appear to mean that the shooting guard will be taking home some $32 million in the coming season.

Philadelphia and Harden’s disappointing season

The Sixers acquired the 2018 NBA MVP last season in a trade that sent Ben Simmons to the Brooklyn Nets, but Harden’s numbers with Philadelphia were not up to par with his career averages.

In the regular season, he had a 40.2% field-goal rate and shot 32.6% from the three-point area, markedly lower than his 44.2% and 36.1% rates, respectively. This performance caused Sixers big man Joel Embiid to comment that Harden was not the player he used to be.

Last season ended on a disappointing note for Philadelphia, with Embiid suffering from injuries and eventually losing in the second round of the playoffs to top seed Miami Heat.

With Harden undergoing a serious conditioning regimen in the offseason and agreeing to a lower salary that could result in the team firming up its roster, it seems he is committed to helping the 76ers achieve a deep run into the playoffs in the coming season.

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