The time has come for the Philadelphia 76ers to pay the price.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnalowski, Philadelphia’s ‘The Beard’ James Harden (Guard, 196cm, 100kg) may move during the offseason.
Harden’s transfer rumors ignited during the season. Reporter Wojnarowski said at the end of December that Harden would also be discussing whether to return to Houston. This is because Harden’s player option is available this summer due to the contract he signed last summer.
Harden slashed메이저사이트 his ransom last offseason, even signing a new contract (two years, $68.6 million) with Philadelphia. He brought in PJ Tucker and Daniel House to help Philadelphia maintain its finances and bolster its power. He could have landed a contract worth well over $40 million a year, but he decided to downsize his contract and sit out with Philadelphia.
However, Philadelphia failed to win the title again this time. Joel Embiid had a great year, winning regular season MVP, and Tyrese Maxie continued to grow. Harden tried to settle in among them, mainly as a playmaker. During the season, he traded Matisse Taibull (Portland) for Jaylen McDaniels and embraced Dwayne Deadman to prepare for the future.
Philadelphia finished the regular season with a record of 54-28 and 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. This is Philadelphia’s highest winning percentage for the first time since the 2000-2001 season, when they won the conference and reached the finals. In addition, he showed off his strength by breaking 50 wins in two consecutive seasons for the first time since the mid-1980s.
It was natural to raise expectations in the playoffs. However, this time, he drank a lot in the championship challenge. Philadelphia advanced to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but lost in the final game against the Boston Celtics. Philadelphia has been to the playoffs for six consecutive years since 2018, but all but 2020 knelt in the second round of the playoffs.
Philadelphia couldn’t keep the series lead this time either. Despite leading with 3 wins and 2 losses, they lost their remaining two matches. At the beginning of the series, despite Embiid’s absence, he succeeded in winning the first round and revealed his prospects, but finally allowed a turnaround. Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers gave up the series this time even after leading in the playoffs.
Harden is expected to make a decision as he failed to make it to the Eastern Conference finals this time as well. If the challenge for the championship in Philadelphia is meaningless, he deserves to return to his hometown. Fortunately, Houston has a number of promising players, and they are growing calmly. In the coming 2023 draft, if he gets the right to be nominated within the second place, it is expected that the power will rise with the joining of Harden.
In addition, if Houston picks Victor Wembenyama (Metropolitan 92) or Scoot Henderson (Ignite), who are rated as the biggest fish in the upcoming draft, they may jump into a trade. This is because he is worthy of not only arranging traffic for existing prospects but also recruiting superstars to work with Harden. It is clear that this is the condition to build a powerful three-man team or at least maintain a thick player base.
Houston hired Imei Yuduka as head coach after this season. Director Judoka demonstrated leadership in towing Boston to the finals in 2022. Unlike coach Rivers, who has not been able to show his strength in the playoffs in recent years, he is a leader who has a good knowledge of using his existing power. In other words, the conditions that would not be strange even if Harden returned to Houston for various reasons were met.
He has appeared in 58 games for Philadelphia this season. He recorded 21 points (.441 .385 .867), 6.1 rebounds, 10.7 assists and 1.2 steals in 36.8 minutes per game. His overall scoring ability has come down from his heyday, but he has done his part without fail by adding operational know-how. He reported double-digit assist averages for three consecutive seasons.