The largest question of the Sixers' offseason is now definitively answered.
James Harden has agreed to a new contract that will pay him $33 million for the 2022-23 season and has a player option of $35.6 million for 2023-24, a source confirmed Wednesday night to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the terms of Harden's Sixers deal. Since Harden declined his $47.4 million player option, it's been known that he would take substantially less than that figure.
Harden's pay cut enabled the Sixers to sign P.J. Tucker with the standard mid-level exception and Danuel House Jr. with the bi-annual exception. If he'd exercised his option, president of basketball operations Daryl Morey would have had a much tougher task in his pursuit of an improved supporting cast around Harden and MVP runner-up Joel Embiid.
“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 me whatever is left over,” Harden told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes on Sunday. “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 position to accomplish that.”
Because they used the bi-annual and standard mid-level exceptions, the Sixers are "hard capped" this season at the luxury tax apron of approximately $157 million. Harden's $33 million salary will put the team at about $153.6 million, per Spotrac.
Including Harden, the Sixers have 12 players on fully guaranteed NBA contracts. Trevelin Queen and Charles Bassey are on partially guaranteed deals, while Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe have non-guaranteed contracts. Charlie Brown Jr. and Julian Champagnie are the team's current two-way contract players. Undrafted rookie big man Michael Foster Jr. signed an Exhibit 10 contract last week.
NBA teams can have up to 20 players during the offseason. They must cut down to 15 plus two two-ways by the start of the regular season.
Below is a rough depth chart for the Sixers as things stand:
James Harden, Shake Milton
Tyrese Maxey, De'Anthony Melton, Furkan Korkmaz, Isaiah Joe, Jaden Springer, Trevelin Queen
Tobias Harris, Danuel House Jr., Matisse Thybulle, Charlie Brown Jr., Julian Champagnie
P.J. Tucker, Georges Niang
Joel Embiid, Paul Reed, Charles Bassey, Michael Foster Jr.