Report: Sixers’ James Harden to decline $35.6M option

May 20, 2023 - 9:33 AM
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May 11, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) dribbles the ball against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) during the first quarter in game six of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. (Bill Streicher/USA Today Sports)

Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden intends to decline his $35.6 million player option and enter free agency this summer, Bleacher Report reported Wednesday.

The 10-time All-Star is looking for a four-year contract with a team that has a “competitive roster,” and he wants the “basketball freedom … to be himself,” per the report.

Harden, 33, averaged 21.0 points, a league-leading 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 58 games (all starts) in 2022-23.

The report cited a long-term deal with Philadelphia as “the only logical option” and downplayed Harden’s rumored return to the Houston Rockets.

The Sixers lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics on Sunday and fired head coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday.

Harden owns career averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 1,000 games (786 starts) with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and 76ers.

—Field Level Media