Sixers head coach Doc Rivers is confident James Harden will sign a lumpsum deal with the Philly organization, shutting down rumors of him testing free agency.
It won’t be wrong to say James Harden’s game has aged much sooner than expected. The Beard is no more the scoring beast he once was in Houston. There has been a visible change in Harden’s game, with him shifting to the role of a facilitator.
The ten-time All-Star forced himself out of two teams in the last two seasons but failed to find any success. While the Sixers guard continues to make moolah, his performance on the court has been inconsistent.
Harden failed to get rid of his choker tag during the recent playoffs, now having a 9-13 record in elimination games. It was a disappointing outing for hoop fans in Philly, with their team getting bounced off in the conference semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons.
As speculations regarding Harden’s extension with the Sixers continue to grow, TMZ reporters caught up with Coach Doc Rivers as he was leaving E Baldi in Bev Hills.
“James Harden will sign a huge deal”: Doc Rivers expresses his excitement.
Entering the off-season, Harden has a $47.5M player option in the upcoming 2022-23 season. Nevertheless, The Beard is eligible for a 4-year $223M extension with the Sixers, something many have been critical of, given his deteriorating game.
Harden was 0-2 in the second half of a potential elimination game against the Heat at home. The Sixers guard took 0-shots in the final quarter, failing to step up as Joel Embiid struggled with multiple injuries. The 6″5′ guard had 11-points and 4-turnovers at the end of Game Six.
James Harden in Game 6:
9-13 in elimination games 😬 pic.twitter.com/ZtBwL0J3Cj
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) May 13, 2022
James Harden’s 2022 playoffs are one for him to forget
> lowest PPG since 2012
> lowest FG% since 2014 pic.twitter.com/T5hXfPqKtu
— SB Nation (@SBNation) May 13, 2022
Recently, former Sixers player Charles Barkley stated giving Harden a $200M extension would kill the franchise for the next 10-15 years, a statement many analysts and NBA gurus echoed. However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Coach Doc who is confident of Harden getting a large deal.
The three-time ASG head coach is excited about Harden such that when asked if the former MVP had been good for him on the team, Rivers had the following to say.
“I love him.”
Well, from Coach Doc’s words, it looks like Harden isn’t going anywhere. The 60-year-old has learned his lesson from the Ben Simmons situation, where he had publicly expressed his doubts over the Aussie point guard’s capabilities.