Sixers Unmotivated To Pay James Harden Max Amid Rockets Rumors

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

The Philadelphia 76ers are not motivated to pay All-Star guard James Harden max money this NBA offseason, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

Harden intends to decline his 2023-24 player option to enter free agency this offseason.

“The 76ers have not shown an appetite to pay Harden the max. That’s why they asked him to take a pay cut last year,” Windhorst said on Wednesday’s Pardon The Interruption. “The Sixers are not really motivated to pay him that max salary if they don’t think anybody else is going to do it.”

Harden signed a two-year, $68.6 million contract with the Sixers last summer. He made $33 million this season.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

A former MVP, Harden has been linked to his old team, the Houston Rockets. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Harden is expected to sign with the Rockets, the team he played nine years for.

“The belief among NBA executives is that James Harden will rejoin the Houston Rockets this summer,” Pompey wrote. “Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta ‘loves’ the 76ers point guard. The franchise expects to reunite with him, sources say. Before the Rockets hired Ime Udoka on April 25, head coaching candidates were asked for their opinion on coaching Harden during the interview process, according to sources.

“Sources have said his interest in returning to Houston is mutual and not a ploy to get a lucrative deal out of the Sixers. His mother still lives in the city. He has several business ventures there. And, as one source said, ‘he’s treated like a god in Houston.’”

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers & Houston Rockets Updates

It’s unknown if the Rockets are ready to pay Harden max money. The lefty is one of the best players in Houston franchise history. Harden is first all-time in 3-point field goals, free throws, assists, triple-doubles, points per game, player efficiency rating, offensive win shares, and box plus-minus.

The Sixers lost to the Boston Celtics in the second round of the playoffs in seven games. Harden has yet to win a championship during his Hall of Fame career.

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About Ashish Mathur 2196 Articles
Ashish is an NBA writer for NBA Analysis Network. He has been featured on many publications, including, ClutchPoints, Sportscasting and Celtics Wire. You can follow Ashish on Twitter @amathur25.