NBA Rumors: James Harden Has These 5 Options This Summer

The James Harden Chronicles in Brooklyn is now officially a direct spinoff of the Ben Simmons Saga in Philadelphia. While the 76ers are rumored to be waiting on Harden this offseason before trading Simmons, the Nets are hoping that Harden is happy in Brooklyn and wants to stay beyond this season. 

According to NBA front office insider Bobby Marks, as related by ESPN's Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective podcast, Harden has five options open to him this summer. Here's the rundown:

Option 1: Harden can choose to accept his $47M option for 2022-23, and then be eligible to sign an extension for four more years, for an overall total of 5 years, $270M.

Option 2: Harden declines his option and becomes an unrestricted free agent. He can then sign a 5-year, $269M contract with Brooklyn.

Option 3: Harden declines his option, becomes an unrestricted free agent, and signs with another team (hello, Philly?) for 4 years, $200M. Of course, that team would have to have the cap space. Only four teams currently have that space: Oklahoma City Thunder, Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and San Antonio Spurs. Clearly, The Beard is not heading to any of those locales. Plus he'd be giving up $70M. This option is the least likely.

Option 4: These last two pick up on the rumored assumption that Harden does want out of Brooklyn, and wants to join Joel Embiid in Philly. )Kendrick Perkins says "This ain't no lie, this facts.")  

In this option, Harden can pick up his $47M option, and ask for a trade to the Sixers. He can then sign that same $223M extension with Philly (for a total of $270M) six months after the trade. 

Option 5: He declines his option with Brooklyn, and as a free agent, works out a sign-and-trade with the Sixers for Simmons and other assets.  

These last two options are the ones that Sixers president Daryl Morey is rumored to be holding out for, and why he is said to be unlikely to trade Simmons at the Feb. 10th trade deadline. 

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