Why James Harden's team-friendly two-year contract is ideal for the 76ers

James Harden was asked a straightforward question by a reporter minutes after the Philadelphia 76ers

76ers were defeated by the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals: Would Harden, a pending free agent,

take a pay cut in the short-term to help the Sixers build out the rest of the roster around Harden and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid

As of right now, though, it seems clear that Harden kept his promise and turned down the $47 million player option he had for the 2022–23 season in favour of a new

two-year contract that will pay him $32 million the following season and has a player option for the following year.

Harden, 32, gave the Sixers financial flexibility this summer by taking $15 million off the amount owing to him for the upcoming season

The franchise used that flexibility to enhance the squad by bringing in players like P.J. Tucker and Danuel House.