Sixers Brass Open to James Harden Exit: Sources

James Harden

Getty James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers

All eyes will be on whether the Philadelphia 76ers will keep James Harden or not this summer. Harden has a player option for next season, which many expect he will decline. When he hits the open market, the Sixers have to decide how willing they are to keep him around. Apparently, some in the organization

An Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney that some Sixers’ brass wouldn’t be too heartbroken to see Harden skip town, though it does not appear likely.

“There are some in that organization who would not mind at all if Harden left,” the GM told Deveney. “I don’t think he will, but he could, and even if he doesn’t, he is not going to get a real long deal from the Sixers. He is getting older, you don’t know how much of a commitment you want to make him.”

Harden is 33 and will be 34 years old in August. The Sixers will have to consider how long they want Harden around and how long they would be willing to pay him because players around that age usually begin to dwindle down.

If they don’t want to pay him the money nor give him the number of years he wants on his next deal, that could make all the difference.

Paying James Harden Considered ‘Riskiest’ Decision

With Harden expected to opt out of his player option, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report explained why the Sixers paying Harden a max contract is one of the “riskiest” decisions this upcoming free agency.

“The Philadelphia 76ers should be losing sleep over the potential of paying him the max, even if it’s only on a two-year deal with a third-year option,” Hughes wrote. “A one-plus-one construction would mitigate the most risk, but there’s probably no such thing as getting Harden ‘cheaply’.”

Hughes added that while Harden is still a fantastic player, he is no longer the player he once was during his heyday with the Houston Rockets, which may not make him worth the price.

“At 33 and playing for his third team in three years, Harden has a career trend line that is angling down. He wasn’t an All-Star this season for the first time since 2011-12, and his athleticism has nearly disappeared. Still a terrific passer and crafty enough to manufacture 20 points per game with ease, it’s not like Harden is without his uses. But even if he takes a small pay cut from this year’s reduced salary, he may not be worth the money,” Hughes said.

James Harden Voices Frustration With Sixers

After the Sixers were blown out by the Miami Heat on April 6, Harden did not hold back when talking about how frustrated he was at the final result.

“Tonight (Thursday) was difficult, man,” Harden said, per Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “We still got to work on our good habits, still gotta build good habits, work on our details and things like that. So a little bit of frustration in the sense that we didn’t come out with a sense of urgency or the preparation or whatever you want to call it that we needed to come out with, but it is what it is.”

Harden put up 14 points on five-for-12 shooting from the field in the 129-101 loss.