Sixers guard James Harden was still an elite player in 2021/22, but his numbers began trending in the wrong direction and he appeared to have lost the explosive first step that defined his MVP-caliber seasons, writes Tommy Beer of BasketballNews.com.
With Harden set to turn 33 this summer, giving him a long-term, maximum-salary contract could cripple the Sixers and would be borderline “organizational malpractice,” Beer argues. Still, Philadelphia can’t afford to let him walk, since doing so wouldn’t actually open up any meaningful cap room and the team is under pressure to maximize Joel Embiid‘s prime.
As Beer outlines, it will be fascinating to see how those contract discussions play out this offseason, since both sides have some leverage concerns. The Sixers can’t afford to lose Harden, but it will be difficult for the former MVP to play hardball in negotiations, considering none of the teams projected to have cap room are expected to seriously pursue him.
Here’s more from around the Atlantic:
- Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey has made it clear that the plan is for Doc Rivers to remain the head coach going forward, prompting Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com to consider whether that decision is the right one for the franchise.
- Former Knicks center Eddy Curry has confidence in the abilities of executives Leon Rose and William Wesley to turn things around in New York, writes Ian Begley of SNY.tv. Curry said Knicks fans shouldn’t focus on Rose’s lack of public statements and press conferences, since it’s “not his personality” to be in the public eye. “Regardless of how often you see him, you better believe he’s making things happen behind closed doors,” said Curry, who worked with Rose and Wesley during his playing career.
- Eric Koreen of The Athletic wonders if Raptors point guard Malachi Flynn could benefit from a change of scenery and identifies some other players in a similar boat whom Toronto could target in a potential Flynn trade, including Aaron Nesmith, Romeo Langford, and Udoka Azubuike.
- In case you missed it, we rounded up a series of Celtics notes earlier today.
27 thoughts on “Atlantic Notes: Harden, Rivers, Knicks, Flynn”
Many said 76ers are going to give Harden max
Tatum 5 year $163 million
Harden 5 year $270 million
Differ: $107 million
And that’s math folks!
If sixers can do a sign and trade that may be better, but the point is correct that he can’t walk.
Chris Paul 2-0, lost 5 times in Game 7
Paul is soft in playoffs
Ben Simmons is soft in playoffs
Harden is soft in playoffs
Does anyone think that Doc Rivers is the flaw?
Doc simply hasnt worked hard enough since Celtics days. He’s a prima donna coach who’s more concerned about his girlfriend. Most of his players didnt have respect for him for offcourt issues.
dude you’re just about the only one who cares about who he’s dating. what would that have to do with anything? from what I’ve read most of his players respect him.
Please attempt… try… to reason why…or how..a coach can turn a player soft during the playoffs? You don’t think the coach wants to win just as badly? At some point the players must take responsibility. Harden’s playoff struggles didn’t start in Philly. Ben couldn’t shoot before Doc came to Philly. Paul has played under different coaches the last few years. Very weak attempt.
Coaching is more than just X and O’s. Most of the work is done in the offseason, off the court, in the locker room. It’s not just physical, but mental, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s about working harder than anyone in the arena and leading by example. It’s about sacrifice, not throwing players under the bus. It’s about caring about players more than money. Did Paul George like him?? Why not? Did CP3 like him?? Why not?? They both had to do with offcourt issues, etc. You can bet there are plenty instances as such.
Him crying and wanting to leaving was the best thing to ever happen to Houston.
Yes, clearly the Rockets are doing great. They almost didn’t finish with the worst record in the NBA again!
Dude is going downhill fast and the Rockets loaded up on picks. Rockets are going to be stacked in a few years. Nobody cares what they did this season – the goal was a top pick.
Something around the deal Tobias Harris got, 5 years, $180M is probably the right compromise for Harden. It starts at 32M allowing the sixers plenty of room under the tax, to use the full MLE and the BAE to add depth, without trading anyone else.
Why should Harden sign bigger contract than Tatum?
The bigger the contract, the more the trade value?
He shouldn’t, but with the 47.5M player option, you have to offer enough for him to decline it and stay long term. They don’t have a path forward without him at this point.
Right now with Tobias Harris contract, in tandem with Harden’s, still have to pay Maxey coming up. They have to retool bench…. Need to deal Harris for depth and attach draft pick…
Nobody wants Harris’ contract. They’d have to give up Maxey or MULTIPLE picks to move him. With a team that needs to reload their bench, giving up multiple picks to offload a contract that still won’t get them under the cap would be foolish. Also, they already moved a couple firsts in the Harden trade. They’re married for now, unfortunately, but with a healthy Embiid they can still contend, but they need some young, athletic depth, somehow.
Hey, HARRIS: look at Mavs, they got rid of Porzingis contract, got serviceable pieces in Dinwittie, Davis Bertans and are in WCF. Morey is more than capable of getting back usable pieces back in multi team trade….Yes, he may have to take back 40m in contracts, but may be able to get depth around Joel/ Harden/ Maxey… Morey may have to part with thybille do get this done…. Actually Shake Milton is good coming off the bench…. Enjoy the playoffs!
The crippling effects of almost any new long term deal with Harden are about the same for the organization. PHI would do best to convince (or compel) him to opt-in without an extension, or just a 1 year extension at no discount. Harden might not do it though. I don’t there’s any possibility he agrees to a short term extension with a discount.
Best thing for Sixers would be Harden picking up his option, get in good shape, play out your contract and talk it up next summer, show what you got left next season. If not, 90M-3years, third year partially guaranteed sounds good me to me, but his ego will tell him to reject it. He has to understand his play has raised doubts and he has to solve them before asking for the moon
90 mm / 3 years would work for PHI. Harden? Consider that he has an option for 47 mm next year alone. He’d be taking a total of 43 mm combined for for two more years, and then be 36 years old without a deal. Maybe, but I’m skeptical.
The step back 3 has been lost as well that opened everything else up
The swing thru get foul shots is gone
Couple that with he’s now lost a step
Morey making the proper statements publicly…
soas any move to the Lakers for Rivers will have to come via “trade”/compensation.
Curry is the worst Knicks contract ever. He’s a career NoShow. So Shut him up. Go hug your limo driver. And take NYK out your brain.
You’re an angry elf aren’t you
I’m keeping Tobias, honestly cant replace him on the open market.
Gentleman’s agreement with Daniel Green. Guarantee his deal, and when he gets traded accept a team friendly BO.
Gives the Sixers 19.3M to make a deal including Green, Furkan, Thybulle.
Upgrade the wing and bench. Sign a vet min back-up C and MLE for Wing or backup PG. Few players I’d like… Bojan, Royce O’neale, Barton. Well see. I’m optimistic for now.
I think we need to “try” to trade Tobias. Not a salary dump or anything like that , because that does not improve us and further weakens depth. But if you can find a trade partner John Collins? But I am not optimistic. The most realistic to me would be Hayward but I am not sure that moves the needle either, even if he could stay healthy.
Tobias is a reluctant shooter from 3, a sub par rebounder for a 4, an average at best defender. Not bashing him, just being realistic. I like Tobias (hate his salary), good teammate, takes younger guys under his wing, has little ego and tries to adapt his game around our personnel.
He’s a decent player but a clunky fit. If we don’t find a better fit we are in trouble next year.
Gave up too much for Harden unfortunately. No picks for bench upgrades.