Over the past few weeks, numerous insiders have reported and inferred that James Harden will opt out of his contract with the Sixers, and either re-sign with them or sign with the Houston Rockets. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that it was a matter of when, not if, it would happen.
Now, it appears things might’ve changed. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in a recent SportsCenter TV interview that Harden and his representatives “have not made a decision” in regards to his $35.6 million player option.
Transcription: “I’m told James Harden and his representatives have not made a decision yet on that $35.6 million player option that he would have to exercise by Thursday afternoon,” It gives him about two days now to figure out whether it makes more sense to decline it and then go into free agency where they can negotiate a new deal with the Sixers, or look elsewhere, including the Houston Rockets.”
Wojnarowski also went on to report that Harden had hoped to secure a longer-term deal with the Sixers, after he took a pay cut in the previous offseason.
Picking up his player option hasn’t been a concept covered much, but it might be the best possible middle ground for both sides. For the Sixers, they don’t lose any long-term flexibility. While for Harden, it’s a healthy payday at the rate he could probably get from any team on a shorter-term deal.
The deadline for Harden to make a decision with his option is fast approaching, on Thursday night. We’ll soon know for sure which direction both sides will go.