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Daryl Morey: James Harden, 76ers a 'Mutual Lovefest,' Expects to Work out Contract

Doric SamJune 24, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have yet to enter negotiations with James Harden concerning a long-term contract extension, but general manager Daryl Morey believes a new deal is inevitable.

"As you guys have heard, it's a mutual lovefest, so we feel like we'll work it out," Morey told reporters.

Harden holds a $47.4 million player option for next season. After the Sixers fell to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Harden was asked if he intends to remain in Philadelphia and responded, "I'll be here," before adding, "We're trying to win a championship." He also indicated he'd be willing to take less money on a contract extension, saying, "Whatever it takes to make this team better."

B/R's Jake Fischer reported earlier this month that "all signs point toward" Harden remaining with the Sixers on a short-term contract extension. Philadelphia can offer him a four-year max deal, or if he declines his option, he'd be eligible for a five-year deal. However, the team's ownership has been "resistant" to making such a substantial commitment to the 32-year-old.

After being acquired by the Sixers at last season's trade deadline, Harden averaged 21.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists in 21 regular-season games for Philadelphia. He had a lackluster showing in the postseason, averaging 18.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting in the series against Miami.

Harden suggested he wasn't fully healthy throughout the year, and the 10-time All-Star plans on using the offseason to return to form. If he can get back to the player he once was, he should pair well with MVP runner-up Joel Embiid to form one of the best duos in the NBA. The Sixers' window for title contention will remain open as long as both Harden and Embiid are on the roster.

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