James Harden could've exercised his player option for the 2022-23 season and collected $47.4 million in the process. Instead, he declined that option.
According to multiple reports, Harden intends to return to the Philadelphia 76ers on a new deal that'll give the front office some much-needed financial flexibility to bolster its roster.
In other words, there's no indication Harden plans on leaving the 76ers this offseason. With that said, a decent portion of the NBA world is surprised he turned down over $47 million.
"James Harden turning down money," one fan tweeted. "We are in our last days."
The other half of the basketball community, however, believes this move shows Harden's commitment to winning a championship.
"Give a ton of credit to James Harden for putting his money where his mouth is and putting winning first," Sean Barnard of Philly Sports Network said. "The willingness to take a lesser deal has clearly been the easiest route to the Sixers completing their roster and he now gives them the best chance to do this."
Harden averaged 21.0 points, 10.5 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game for the 76ers. Unfortunately for the team, he didn't perform to the best of his abilities in the postseason.
The 76ers will enter next season with championship expectations, there's no doubt about it.