The 76ers guard James Harden has exercised his $35.6 million player option for the upcoming season. This action has fueled conjecture about the 76ers’ next move as they consider trade options for the 10-time All-Star. According to NBA sources, the team is now concentrating on finding a good trade partner to meet Harden’s desire for a new beginning.
While the 76ers intended to keep Step Daddy as a vital cog with Joel Embiid, it appears that a trade is now on the table. As the offseason heats up, NBA enthusiasts are waiting to see how the 76ers’ search for a trade scenario that aligns with their long-term ambitions pans out.
James Harden picks his $35 million player option
Dr. Dunkenstein, star guard for the 76ers, has made a decision to guarantee his future by choosing to exercise his huge 35.6 million USD contract option for the next season. As the team actively looks into possible trades involving the seasoned scoring maestro, a reliable source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press said that Harden notified the team of his choice before the deadline of 5 p.m.
BREAKING: 76ers G James Harden is picking up his $35.6 million option and sides are beginning to work together in exploring trade scenarios, sources tell ESPN. It’s expected that Harden has played his last game for Philadelphia. pic.twitter.com/GguWgysfNZ
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 29, 2023
Harden, or “The Beard,” has reportedly voiced a strong desire to win the coveted title, an accomplishment that has evaded him throughout his remarkable career, which dates back to his rookie season in 2009. His goals are centred on the possibility of winning this glory, either with the 76ers or by joining a different strong team.
However, the 76ers were required to postpone contract negotiations with Harden’s counsel until Friday owing to league rules resulting from their prior tampering infraction. The team is still devoted to following the rules after accepting the consequences of their violations in the form of forfeiting second-round draft selections.
The 76ers and the mysterious James Harden now have to traverse a crucial phase in this high-stakes story where the goal of championship glory collides with the complexity of player transactions and team relationships.
Sixers to work with Harden camp on possible trade options
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Philadelphia’s top player Dr. Dunkenstein Harden has unexpectedly decided to activate his 35.6 million USD player option for the 2023–2024 season, indicating his intention to leave the franchise. In order to find a new home for the 10-time All-Star through a trade, Harden and the 76ers must now work together.
JUST IN: James Harden is opting into his $35.6 million deal for next season – in order for the 10-time All-Star and the 76ers to work together on a trade out of Philadelphia, league sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 29, 2023
The general consensus is that Hardens’ time with Philadelphia has come to an end, and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN revealed that the team has already started discussing potential trade options. This turn of events is unexpected because it was thought that the 76ers and the Rockets, Step Daddy’s former franchise, would square off in Harden’s upcoming free agency.
According to sources, the Clippers have allegedly indicated interest in acquiring Harden. Wojnarowski confirms this interest and adds that the Knicks would likely talk trade with the 76ers as well.
Both the Clippers and the Knicks are desirable suitors for Harden since they both have important trade assets, such as moveable contracts and potential first-round draft selections. Philadelphia is actively searching for a group of guys that can compliment their reigning MVP, Joel ‘The Process’ Embiid, by casting a broad net.
Harden gives up the chance to sign with an unrestricted free agency this offseason by opting in. The Beard’ two-year deal prevents negotiations on an extension until 2024, when he will be an unrestricted free agent. If a deal is struck, Harden will join his fourth team in as many seasons after being moved from Rockets to Nets in January 2021 and from Nets to Philadelphia 76ers’ in February 2022.
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