One of the most shocking moves this NBA offseason was Philadelphia 76ers star James Harden turning down his $47 million player option in favor of restructuring a more team-friendly deal. Daryl Morey was able to strengthen the supporting cast around the all-star point guard and Joel Embiid.
After a long wait, the Sixers and Harden recently agreed on one Two-year, $68.6 million contract. At this point in his career, the former MVP is fully focused on chasing the championship ring that has eluded him for all these years.
Since the deal went official, many Harden have applauded him for prioritizing his team’s improvement over himself. However, a former NBA All-Star was not pleased with his decision.
In a recent episode of his No Chill podcast, Gilbert Arenas shared his thoughts on Harden’s contract. He believes that a player should never take less money to make life easier for an owner.
“Don’t take pay cuts to win, that’s not your job,” Arenas said. “It’s not your job to take a pay cut to win. Remember, you are a millionaire taking a pay cut for a billionaire. That doesn’t even sound right.”
Gilbert Arenas played 11 seasons in the NBA as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies. During that time, he amassed $163.4 million in career earnings.
For the past two years, a narrative has been building around James Harden that Father Time is catching up to him. Hamstring injuries dating back to his time with the Brooklyn Nets have slowed him down, but this summer he vowed to get back into elite form.
After their barrage of offseason additions, thoughts on where the Sixers stand in the Eastern Conference are a mixed bag of answers. One person who believes strongly in her and Harden is ESPN’s Jay Williams. The former second overall winner recently opened why he feels the behavior of the Star Guard has changed.
James Harden not only said the right things, but backed them up with his actions. Countless videos have surfaced in recent weeks showing him training intensely this offseason. He’s even trained with Tyrese Maxey and assistant coach Sam Cassell for some time.
With every new clip that comes out, Sixers fans are getting more and more excited to see what Harden will do in his first full season in Philadelphia.
In his first stint with the Sixers, Harden averaged 21.0 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 10.5 APG. Between improving his physique and improving the cast around him, everything is poised to silence his doubters and lead his team to a championship.