Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey expressed optimism that a deal with free-agent guard James Harden will be done soon per a conversation with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Saturday.
Chris Haynes @ChrisBHaynes
Daryl Morey tells <a href="https://twitter.com/YahooSports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YahooSports</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/NBATV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NBATV</a> that negotiations with James Harden is “still in progress” and in a “good place.” Talks are a collaborating effort of Harden, Morey, Harden’s business partner Lorenzo McCloud and Michael Rubin. Both sides optimistic a deal will be done soon.
Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic reported on June 29 that Harden planned to decline his $47.4 million 2022-23 player option and re-sign with the 76ers in free agency on a lesser deal to give the 76ers more financial flexibility to improve the team.
Charania then reported on Friday that Harden planned to take a $15 million pay cut for 2022-23 en route to signing a two-year deal with a player option for 2023-24.
The 76ers acquired Harden in a trade-deadline deal on Feb. 10 with the Brooklyn Nets that notably sent Ben Simmons the other way.
He averaged 21.0 points and 10.5 assists in 21 regular-season games for the 76ers, who ended their season with a second-round playoff loss to the Miami Heat.
Philadelphia has already started making moves this offseason by signing P.J. Tucker and Danuel House in free agency.
Bringing Harden back seems like a formality at this point as MVP runner-up Joel Embiid looks to lead Philadelphia back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2001.