Report: James Harden Will Take A $15 Million Paycut To Return To The Sixers

Despite the fact that he declined his player option for the 2022-23 campaign to hit unrestricted free agency, all signs pointed to James Harden working out a deal to return to the Philadelphia 76ers. Much was made of Harden potentially leaving a significant chunk of change on the table so the team could have more flexibility in the free agent market, and on Friday afternoon, we got a sense of just how much Harden is going to give back.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Harden will take a paycut of about $15 million on his contract next year. Because Harden could have made $47 million if he picked up his player option, this would mean Harden’s deal will pay him about $32 million and feature a player option for 2023-24.

The specifics of the deal — namely whether or not Harden will see his salary increase beyond next year — have yet to be reported. Still, Philadelphia has been quite active this offseason, pulling off a trade during the NBA Draft that landed them De’Anthony Melton from the Memphis Grizzlies for their first-round pick and signing a pair of Harden’s former teammates with the Houston Rockets, P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, to deals. Harden is the final piece of the puzzle, but it appears he’ll have his future all sorted out sooner rather than later.