At one point, James Harden seemed destined to opt out of his contract for the 2022-23 season and to then re-sign with the Philadelphia 76ers on a five-year, max deal. Now, Harden and Philadelphia are expected to go in a slightly different direction.
The expectation for Harden is now that he’ll opt in for 2022-23. The Sixers will then sign Harden to an extension that adds two or three years more years on to his option year.
This is seen as a compromise between both parties. Philadelphia reportedly has reservations on giving Harden a long-term max deal. Harden prefers to sign with the 76ers vs becoming a free agent in 2022 or 2023. Signing even a short-term extension is the middle-ground between either option.