The trade of James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers was certainly one of the biggest moves in the NBA this season. Considering how stellar Harden has become, Beard’s move to the 76ers was a tick on all counts.
Not only will he not have to share the ball with another ball-dominating defenseman, he will also have Joel Embiid, a center MVP candidate who excels in pick-and-roll, which is typical of Harden at the Rockets. But 6 months later, the trade certainly didn’t deliver the benefits many hoped for as the 76ers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.
Although Harden looked great in his first week with the team, he has had a disappointing season since. His performance in the playoffs was even worse. Despite playing nearly 40 minutes per game, the 32-year-old averaged a disappointing 18.6 points, 8.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game.
So far, his time in Philadelphia may not have been his best, but it looks like The Beard is about to continue his journey with the 76ers.
According to Bleach reportJake Fisher, a 10-time All-Star, is about to sign a brief extension with the 76ers.
Two weeks into NBA free agency on June 30 at 6:00 pm ET, all signs point to All-Star defenseman James Harden returning to the Philadelphia 76ers on a short-term contract extension, league sources told B/R.
Sources said Harden and the 66ers leaders have one clear directive: The best opportunity for the franchise to challenge for a championship with Joel Embiid, and the best opportunity for Harden to earn his first NBA ring, is to play Harden in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future. . .
However, ownership of the Sixers is resisting the idea of giving Harden a full four-year maximum contract extension after the 2022-2023 option season, sources told B/R, or a five-year deal that Harden would have been entitled to if he chose to forfeit his option for $47.4 million for next season. Signing a possibly two-year extension after the option season to create a new three-year structure would also give Harden more room for his own career.
This is definitely big news for Philadelphia fans. Latecomer James Harden was notorious for his impatience and trade requests after one or two seasons with the team. But for now, it seems like Harden sees an opportunity to win an NBA title with Embiid and company.
However, in order for this to happen, the 2018 MVP will need to increase their performance along with the team. With the Sixers turning down players like Seth Curry, Philadelphia has a weak offense. Harden is definitely one of the key players given his ability to share the ball and score effectively.
If the Embiid/Harden duo finally works for the 76ers, Philadelphia has a serious shot at an NBA title challenge next season. But if Harden maintains playoff form, the 76ers may have given up too much for too little effect. Will Harden’s stay in Philadelphia be beneficial to both parties? Time will tell.