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Report: James Harden and Sixers to meet over weekend to negotiate new contract

James Harden opting out and being ready to take a pay cut has already helped the Sixers make some valuable free agent signings.

NBA 2022 Playoffs - Miami Heat v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

The Sixers didn’t wait around to make some roster upgrades in free agency. Their acquisition of P.J. Tucker on a three-year, $33 million deal was reported almost immediately, while news of an agreement to sign Danuel House Jr. on a two-year, $8.5 million contract came shortly after.

But, of course, the biggest contract negotiation for the Sixers this offseason is James Harden’s next deal. As ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has now reported, Harden will be meeting with the Sixers over the weekend to negotiate his next contract.

Harden opted out of his $47.4 million player option for 2022-23 and went into free agency with the intention to take a pay cut, starting next season, in order to give the Sixers more financial flexibility for free agency this summer.

His decision has allowed the Sixers to access the full non-taxpayer mid-level exception (worth nearly $10.5 million) they used to sign Tucker, and the bi-annual exception (worth around $4.1 million) to sign House.

You can question the salary of these acquisitions and whether they should have received any less (Tucker given his age at 37, and House with the full bi-annual exception rather than a minimum deal), but there’s no doubt both will help the Sixers. They desperately needed more depth, size and defense on the wing, and that’s what they’re adding with their new forwards — plus, a new small-ball center option in Tucker.

Over the next few days, we’ll be able to find out exactly how much of a pay cut Harden is taking and whether any final moves are coming to solidify the roster.

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