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.
Free agent James Harden has agreed on a two-year, $68.6M deal, including a player option, to return to the 76ers, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 20, 2022
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.
Source confirms James Harden has agreed to a 1 year deal for $33 million this coming season and a player option for $35.6 million for the following season
James took less money to allow the Sixers to get players to help them be a championship contender pic.twitter.com/zp3nQV45Fv
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) July 20, 2022
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.