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Report: James Harden ‘intends to decline’ player option, enter free agency

The Sixers point guard is reportedly seeking a four-year deal.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

According to a report from Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes, Philadelphia 76ers point guard James Harden will decline his $35.6 player option and enter free agency seeking a four-year contract this summer. Harden signed a two-year, $68.6 million deal last summer.

“The Houston Rockets have long been a rumored destination,” Haynes wrote. “But sources say Harden will only entertain suitors that present a competitive roster and the basketball freedom for the star to be himself.

“At the moment, the Sixers are the only logical option, coming off a third-place finish in the Eastern Conference in the regular season. But the dynamic in Philadelphia will undoubtedly change next season, considering the Sixers have to find the right coach after dismissing Doc Rivers.”

During his first full regular season with Philadelphia, Harden averaged 21.0 points (60.7 percent true shooting) and an NBA-high 10.7 assists per game. Despite some explosive performances, he often struggled mightily in the team’s playoff run, though, seeing his numbers decline to 20.3 points (53.8 percent true shooting) and 8.3 assists, including nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, seven assists and five turnovers in the Sixers’ Game 7 blowout loss to the Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon.

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