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76ers Rumors: James Harden Could Agree to New Contract 'As Soon as the Next 24 Hours'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 5, 2022

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

James Harden's new deal with the Philadelphia 76ers is only a matter of time. That much has been known since the start of free agency.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said we may get a dollar figure as soon as Wednesday.

"You can expect Harden and his representative and Daryl Morey in Philly to really sit down and hammer that deal out here, perhaps as soon as the next 24 hours," Wojnarowski said Tuesday on SportsCenter.

Harden declined his $47.3 million player option late last month with the idea of re-signing in Philadelphia for less than his maximum salary. Contracts agreed to by P.J. Tucker and Danuel House earlier this offseason hard-cap the Sixers in 2022-23, meaning they cannot go past the tax apron (roughly $6 million over the luxury tax).

The Sixers and Harden will likely spend this time negotiating a starting salary that provides the 2017-18 MVP significant long-term security while still giving the team some salary wiggle room to make additions throughout next season.

A three-year contract at around $100 million would allow the Sixers to start Harden out at around $30.9 million for the 2022-23 season, assuming he's given standard 8 percent raises for each campaign. That would give the team plenty of breathing room for this season, which will allow Morey to potentially wheel-and-deal once the Sixers figure out their roster weaknesses.

Philadelphia would then be able to go over the hard cap in the 2023-24 season, which would be a near-given with Joel Embiid, Harden, Tobias Harris and Tucker under fully guaranteed contracts.

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