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Harden has been much maligned over the past few seasons. The 76ers took a huge risk trading for him knowing that his deal was about to expire. It could have been one of the worst contracts of all time. Instead Harden took a different deal and showed some real maturity in the process.
Harden signed a two year, $68.6 million dollar deal with a player option to stay with the Sixers. He could have insisted on signing a $223 million dollar extension but he decided to take a more team friendly deal. After his tumultuous exit in Brooklyn it seemed like Harden’s commitment to basketball was waning. After this commitment to Sixers it reinforces that he wants to win.
Now it just comes down to basketball. Embiid and Harden on paper seem like a match made in heaven, the fit on court was a little less perfect. If Sam Hinkie can continue to add pieces to the roster then they can make some noise. Tyrese Maxey is already a stud and Hinkie has been adding a slew of former Rockets to make Harden more comfortable. He brought in P.J. Tucker and De’Anthony Melton to help round out some depth.
If Harden’s new contract is any indication about his willingness to win that is easily the biggest offseason acquisition for the team. An energized Harden surrounded by some new pieces and Joel Embiid can make some serious noise in the Eastern Conference.