KEY POINTS

  • James Harden is left with several options this coming offseason
  • The Sixers may retain Harden and figure out what kind of contract he deserves
  • The former NBA MVP claims he wants to stay in Philadelphia

James Harden's transfer to the Philadelphia 76ers appeared to make sense as far as the NBA team’s playoff dreams were concerned.

Unfortunately, it did not live up to expectations as Harden was hardly felt in the franchise's campaign this season.

All that is now water under the bridge and the next agenda is figuring out the contract situation of the 10-time All-Star.

Harden can opt-in and sign a max contract extension which would pay him $270 million over the next five years.

But the question in the minds of most right now is whether the 2018 NBA MVP deserves that huge amount of money, ESPN reported.

If he exercises his player option, Harden will earn $47 million for the 2022-23 season. From there, Philly can choose to dangle a long-term deal.

Given that Harden was hardly felt since arriving in Philly from the Brooklyn Nets, there are risks involved.

His low-energy performance is a concern although there is a chance that the 6-foot-5 guard could make up with a better showing for the next NBA season.

Another scenario could see Harden opt out and try his luck in free agency.

Although he has repeatedly said he prefers to stay in Philly, NBA fans are fully aware that he mentioned the same thing in Brooklyn before he was dealt in exchange for Ben Simmons last February.

An argument that could be raised was Harden failed to blend in with the Sixers’ system after the trade.

But for someone who has been known to score tons, not many are accepting that excuse.

Heading into next season, the Sixers will continue to ride on head coach Doc Rivers’s shoulders.

For now, it appears Harden may continue playing for the Sixers and try to adapt.

But before going any further, the contract issue with Harden needs to be settled first.

James Harden James Harden #1 (center), Tobias Harris #12 (left), and Tyrese Maxey #0 (right) of the Philadelphia 76ers during a game against the New York Knicks in March 2022. Photo: Getty Images/Mitchell Leff