James Harden, Sixers reach agreement on new contract

The Sixers’ biggest question of the season has now been definitively answered.

James Harden has agreed to a new contract that will pay him $33 million for the 2022-23 season and a $35.6 million player option for 2023-24, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia on Wednesday night.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on the terms of Harden’s Sixers deal. Since Harden turned down his $47.4 million player option, he has been known to take significantly less than that amount.

Harden’s pay cut allowed the Sixers to sign PJ Tucker with the standard medium exception and Danuel House Jr. with the biannual exception. Had he exercised his option, Daryl Morey, president of basketball operations, would have had a much tougher job in his pursuit of an improved supporting cast around Harden and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid.

“I had conversations with Daryl and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who to sign and give me everything that was left,” Harden told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes on Sunday. “This is how much I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to allow us to achieve that.”

Using the mid-level biennial and standard exceptions, the Sixers have a “hard limit” on the luxury tax platform this season of approximately $157 million. Harden’s $33 million salary brings the team to about $153.6 million, per Spotrac.

Including Harden, the Sixers have 12 players with fully guaranteed NBA contracts. Trevelin Queen and Charles Bassey have partially guaranteed deals, while Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe have non-guaranteed contracts. Charlie Brown Jr. and Julian Champagnie are the team’s current two-way contract players. The untapped rookie big man Michael Foster Jr. signed a contract for Exhibit 10 last week.

NBA teams can have up to 20 players during the off season. They must drop to 15 plus two two-way’s at the start of the regular season.

Below is a rough depth chart for the Sixers as things stand now:

Point guard

James Harden, Shake Milton

Shooting Guard

Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton, Furkan Korkmaz, Isaiah Joe, Jaden Springer, Trevelin Queen

Small forward

Tobias Harris, Danuel House Jr., Matisse Thybulle, Charlie Brown Jr., Julian Champagnie

Power forward

PJ Tucker, Georges Niang

Centre

Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, Charles Bassey, Michael Foster Jr.

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