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James Harden says he was ‘willing to take less’ to help 76ers add to roster

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Philadelphia 76ers star guard James Harden says he took less money to help the Sixers build a championship contender this offseason.

In the interview, Harden voiced his desire to win a championship, adding that he urged Sixers’ general manager Daryl Morey to improve the roster, and he would take whatever money was left over. 

“I had conversations with Daryl, and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players. I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give whatever is left over,” Harden told Hynes. “This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That’s all that matters to me at this stage. I’m willing to take less to put us in a position to accomplish that.”

In late June, Harden declined his $47.3M player option for the 2022-23 season. On July 8, The Athletic’s Shams Charnia reported that Harden planned to take a $15M pay cut for this upcoming season and sign a two-year deal with the Sixers. 

During the offseason, the Sixers added veteran P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, De’Anthony Melton, and Trevelin Queen. 

The Sixers acquired Harden in a February blockbuster deal with the Brooklyn Nets, which sent Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two first-round picks to the Nets in exchange for the ten-time All-Star. 

Harden averaged 21 points, 10.5 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.2 steals over 21 regular-season games with the Sixers. In 12 playoff games, Harden posted 18.6 points, 8.6 assists, and 5.7 rebounds.

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