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For the third consecutive year, the Philadelphia 76ers’ season ended with a second-round exit, in part because their supposed star, southpaw point guard went dormant at key junctures. Time is a flat circle.
The last two seasons, it’s been James Harden at the helm of those disappearing acts. Last year, when he attempted only nine shots in a Game 6 loss to the Miami Heat, there was still considerable optimism he’d be better after an offseason to both get healthy and acclimate to his new Sixers home. This year, much of that optimism has understandably eroded after Harden combined to go 7-of-27 for 22 points and totaled 10 turnovers in Games 6 and 7 as Philadelphia squandered a 3-2 lead.
Ten months ago, Harden inked a two-year, $68.6 million deal with a player option for the second year. According to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, Harden will decline that player option to become a free agent again this summer. Harden enjoyed an excellent regular season, helped power Philadelphia’s elite offense and paired aptly alongside Joel Embiid, who won his first MVP and second consecutive scoring title. But the star veteran was maddeningly inconsistent in the playoffs, quite poor on the whole, and the Sixers’ offense cratered.
So, do you want Philadelphia to retain him (assuming he’s interested)? Let us know! To understand all the financial ramifications of this decision, I’d recommend reading this breakdown from our Bryan Toporek before voting, too.