Harden declined a $47 million option this offseason to facilitate the new deal at a discount.
“I had conversations with [president of basketball operations] Daryl [Morey], and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give me whatever is left over,” Harden told Yahoo Sports earlier this week. “This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in position to accomplish that.”
Harden and the Sixers were committed to extending his deal, and the 10-time All-Star is taking a pay cut for the betterment of the team.
The Sixers signed defensive specialist P.J. Tucker away from Miami for three years, $33 million; signed shooter Danuel House to two years, $8.5 million; picked up combo guard De’Anthony Melton via trade; and signed Trevelin Queen, the 2021-22 G League MVP.
The 2017-18 NBA MVP received criticism for his play in his 21 regular-season games for the Sixers after he was traded from the Brooklyn Nets. He averaged 21 points, 7.1 rebounds and 10.5 assists in Philadelphia.
“I think we have a much deeper team,” Harden told Yahoo Sports. “That’s something we wanted to address. If you look at our team now, we’re positioned to go a lot further. I like how we stack up with the rest of the top teams.”