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NBA

Will James Harden stay with the Philadelphia 76ers?

The Philadelphia 76ers have been booted out of the NBA playoffs, and now one of the issues the team is dealing with is what to do with James Harden.

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
The Philadelphia 76ers have been booted out of the NBA playoffs, and now one of the issues the team is dealing with is what to do with James Harden.
Anadolu AgencyGetty

The Miami Heat eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers by sealing the series 4-2, and now it’s time for the Sixers to regroup and consider their future in the offseason.

One thing foremost in the minds of basketball fans is James Harden’s fate with the team. Harden has played with Philadelphia for 23 games in the regular season, and 12 in the playoffs.

Philadelphia wants Harden back for next season

The Sixers traded with the Brooklyn Nets for him in February, with the intention of having him as a pillar of the team for foreseeable future. From all indications, this plan remains on track.

Philadelphia’s president for basketball operations Daryl Morey says they plan to keep Harden in the team, even if the future of his contract remains unclear. The 32-year-old can opt to stay with them via a $47.4 million player option that he needs to act on before July 1. If he misses this deadline, he will enter unrestricted free agency. He could also choose to negotiate a huge contract extension with the team.

“That’s the plan is to have him back,” according to Morey. “That’s been the plan since the trade. Obviously, we have to work with his representation and that’ll be between us to figure out how that works.”

James Harden: ‘I’ll be here’

Teammate Joel Embiid may be less than thrilled by his performance, but Harden says he is open to staying with the 76ers for the long term.

“Whatever it takes to help this team continue to grow and put us up there with the best of them,” said the 2018 NBA MVP.

We’re trying to win a championship- that’s the goal… Whatever allows this team to grow and be better and do the things necessary to win and compete at the highest level.”

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