cript>

James Harden’s contract and more

James Harden’s contract and more

After an embarrassing playoff exit to the Atlanta Hawks last season, Ben Simmons demanded a trade and never suited up for the Sixers again. They managed to stay afloat throughout the year thanks to another Joel Embid MVP caliber season, Tyrese Maxey’s ascension, and turning a Simmons on strike into James Harden. Going from the early season Simmons saga to making a significant mid-season trade and winning a playoff series should be considered a successful season.

The Sixers will now have the opportunity to reshape the roster around their new star duo after moving off several key role players in the trade for Harden. Along with negotiating a new contract for him, they will also need to make some decisions on other key role players and improve the roster through trade and free agency.

James Harden’s new contract

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

James Harden has a $47.4 million player option heading into next season. If he exercises it, he would become eligible to extend with the Sixers for up to four years, $222.8 million starting on August 10, 2022. It was previously reported that he planned on exercising the option but it appears that he will decline it and enter free agency instead. If he does that, Harden will be eligible to re-sign with the Sixers for up to five years projected at $269.9 million. If he were to join a new team via free agency, he would be eligible for up to four years, $200.1 million.

When the Sixers acquired Harden, they were essentially putting themselves in a position to lock him into a long-term deal this offseason. The 32-year-old guard is still playing at an All-Star level but has shown a bit of regression from his “All-NBA, no-brainer top shooting guard in the league” form. The question is, will Harden receive the full five-year maximum amount? Or could the Sixers get a little discount either on the years or annual salary?

The idea that Harden could re-sign for less than the maximum has made its rounds. The Sixers are already set to operate over the salary cap in the foreseeable future, especially with Embiid’s supermax extension set to kick in for 2023-24. They already have such limited means to improve the team going forward, and potential new deals for Tyrese Maxey other Matisse Thybulle will only make it harder. Harden taking less than the maximum would indicate a strong commitment to winning a championship since it would give the Sixers more avenues to make significant improvements within the next two seasons.

Regardless of Harden’s exact contract structure, he will still likely receive a salary that will keep the Sixers in the luxury tax for a third consecutive season. This would make them repeat tax offenses starting in 2023-24, which would elevate their tax payments significantly. Their luxury tax payment for that season could start as low as $65 million provided Harden is on a maximum contract or near it.

Matisse Thybulle extension

Robert Goddin USA TODAY Sports

Third-year defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle will become eligible to sign a rookie scale extension throughout the offseason. His negotiations will be very fascinating as we rarely see players with such a high defense-to-offense disparity get rewarded. The Sixers gave up arguably the best perimeter defender in the league in Ben Simmons and in theory, Thybulle is an excellent replacement to pair with the rest of their starters.

Thybulle is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league but was often a liability on the offensive end, especially in the playoffs. Any long-term deal with Thybulle would have to come with the confidence that he will at least improve his career 32 percent rate from the three-point line. How much defensive specialists like Bruce Brown other Gary Payton II get in free agency this offseason could influence negotiations for Thybulle.

Non-guaranteed players and mid-level exception

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia has several players with non-guaranteed contracts to make decisions on, primarily Danny Green. His $10 million salary becomes fully guaranteed on July 1, so what they do with him could be their first major decision to make. If they were to waive him, it could be so they could avoid the luxury tax and delay repeater status by one season. However, such a move could make them worse and they won’t have much means to replace him.

Isaiah Joe, Paul Reedand Charles Bassey also have non-guaranteed salaries but have much later guarantee dates than Green. Shake Milton has a team option worth $2 million and it seems like a good bet the Sixers will exercise it. Declining it wouldn’t make him a restricted free agent since he already has four years of service. Waiving these players won’t give the Sixers any relief since they’re all on minimum contracts, so there’s a good chance all four of them stick around.

Green’s $10 million salary could serve as useful for salary matching in a potential trade. The Sixers are out of first-round picks to trade outside of a conditional 2029 first-round pick starting on July 1. With Maxey likely in their long-term plans, the return in a trade might be limited considering their lack of draft equity or appealing young players to offer. It will probably still be difficult to extract value for Tobias Harris since he still has $77 million over two years remaining on his deal.

The Sixers will also likely have the taxpayer mid-level exception (MLE) projected at $6.4 million. They can use it to sign a player for up to three years, $20.1 million. The backup center spot will likely be a priority as they struggled to get production behind Embiid after trading Andrew Drummond. Some players they could pursue with it include Ja Vale McGee, Montrezl Harrell, Serge Ibakaand Robin Lopez.

2022-23 SALARY SITUATION

Guaranteed salaries: $136,387,929

Non-guaranteed salaries: $17,052,456

Total salary: $153,440,385

Luxury tax space: $4.4 million above the luxury tax ($6.5 million tax payment)

exceptions:

Mid-level tax payer: $6,392,000

Andre Drummond trade exception: $1,669,178 (expires on February 10, 2023)

James Harden

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $47,366,760 (player option)

Remaining salary guaranteed: $47,366,760

Additional notes: Harden can avoid free agency by exercising his $47.4 million player option, or declining it and extending by June 30th, 2022 for up to two years, $95.4 million.

If he exercises his player option, he can extend for up to four years, $222.8 million starting on August 10, 2022 when his trade restriction limiting his extension amount expires.

Tobias Harris

AP Photo/Nate Billings

2022-23 salaries: $37,633,050

Remaining salary guaranteed: $76,903,200 through 2023-24

Additional notes: Harris has a 5 percent trade bonus worth $3.8 million if traded during the offseason, which would increase his salary in 2022-23 and 2023-24 by $1.9 million each.

He is also extension-eligible during the offseason through the day before the regular season for up to three years, projected at $152.5 million.

Joel Embid

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $33,616,770

Remaining salary guaranteed: $234,477,570 through 2026-27

Danny Green

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $10,000,000

Remaining salary guaranteed: $0

Additional notes: Green’s $10 million salary is non-guaranteed and becomes fully guaranteed if not waived by July 1, 2022.

Furkan Korkmaz

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $5,000,000

Remaining salary guaranteed: $10,370,370 through 2023-24

Matisse Thybulle

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $4,379,527

Remaining salary guaranteed: $4,379,527

Additional notes: Thybulle is eligible to sign a rookie scale extension through the day before the regular season.

Georges Niang

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $3,465,000

Remaining salary guaranteed: $3,465,000

Tyrese Maxey

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $2,726,880

Remaining salary guaranteed: $7,070,800 through 2023-24

Jaden Springer

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $2,125,200

Remaining salary guaranteed: $8,369,803 through 2024-25 (assuming team options on last two seasons are picked up)

Shake Milton

Kyle Ross USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $1,997,718 (team option)

Remaining salary guaranteed: $0

Additional notes: Milton is extension-eligible starting on July 6, 2022 through June 30, 2023 for up to four years, projected at $59 million, assuming his team option gets picked up.

He could also extend for up to four years, $55.6 million through June 30, 2022 provided that the Sixers declined his $2 million team option.

Isaiah Joe

Kyle Ross USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $1,782,981

Remaining salary guaranteed: $0

Additional notes: Joe’s $1.8 million salary is non-guaranteed and becomes fully guaranteed if not waived by the first day of the regular season.

He is also extension-eligible throughout 2022-23 for up to four years, projected at $59 million.

Paul Reed

Kyle Ross USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $1,782,981

Remaining salary guaranteed: $0

Additional notes: Reed’s $1.8 million salary is non-guaranteed and becomes fully guaranteed if not waived by the league wide cutdown date.

He is extension-eligible throughout 2022-23 for up to four years, projected at $59 million.

Charles Bassey

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: $1,563,518

Remaining salary guaranteed: $74,742

Additional notes: Bassey’s $1.6 million salary is partially guaranteed and becomes fully guaranteed if not waived by the league wide cutdown date.

Charlie Brown Jr

Eric Hartline USA TODAY Sports

2022-23 salaries: Two-way contract (Year 2)

Remaining salary guaranteed: $0

Paul Millsap

Bill Streicher USA TODAY Sports

Cap hold: $1,811,516

Type of free agent: Non Bird (unrestricted)

Myles Powell

Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Cap hold: $1,616,044

Type of free agent: Non Bird (restricted)

2022 pick no. 23

2022-23 salaries: $2,553,960

Remaining salary guaranteed: $12,531,332 through 2025-26 (assuming team options on last two seasons are picked up)

Additional notes: This draft pick is owed to Brooklyn from Philadelphia as part of the James Harden trade. The Nets have until June 1, 2022 to decide whether they want to convey it in this years draft, or defer it to the 2023 NBA draft.

HoopsHype and ForTheWin’s draft expert Bryan Kalbrosky has Mar Jon Beauchamp as the 23rd overall selection in his most recent mock draft. Kalbrosky also has Nikola Jovic ranked as the 23rd best prospect in his most recent big board.

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.