James Harden Taking Pay Cut To Help Philadelphia 76ers

James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

With NBA Free Agency set to begin, James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers are going to be an interesting situation to watch. After a rough time with the team following his trade from the Brooklyn Nets, Harden opted out of his current deal. While many jumped to the conclusion that he could leave the franchise, that may not be anything close to what his intentions truly are.

Harden started off strong in his first couple games with the 76ers following the trade. Many had already penciled in the team as a favorite to win the Eastern Conference. That obviously didn’t end up being the case.

Instead of considering leaving the 76ers, Harden may actually be helping the franchise with his move to opt out. That report came from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Whether he would truly be taking a pay cut or simply renegotiating a new deal to free up room now, this move is likely nothing more than a financial move. Harden would be very much onboard with the idea of the 76ers being able to go out and add more talent to the roster to compliment himself and Joel Embiid.

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During the 21 games that he ended up playing with the 76ers, Harden averaged 21.0 points per game to go along with 10.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals. He shot 40.2 percent from the floor overall and knocked down 32.6 percent of his three-point attempts.

Most of the criticism that Harden faced from the media and fans had to do with the simple fact that he looked like he has lost a step. The athleticism that has made him so good for years wasn’t there. Another issue was that the way the NBA officials are treating him has changed and it’s much harder for him to get to the line.

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All of that being said, it will be interesting to see what James Harden does this offseason. Could he actually consider leaving? Only time will tell, but the thought that he could simply be helping the 76ers is a very likely scenario.