James Harden was nowhere to be found in Thursday’s Philadelphia flop.
The Sixers point guard – who was traded to Philadelphia for the last time in February to help Joel Embiid search for a deep playoff – was 4-of-9 with 11 points in 42 minutes.
Harden just fired twice in the second half of Philadelphia’s 99-90 Game 6 away from Miami. He shot every third and four points.
His final performance of his first season with the Sixers probably doesn’t mean he should extend his contract – but there are choices.
If Harden enters the final year of his contract, he will receive $ 47 million in compensation for the period 2022-23, and become free in 2023.
If he comes out of his current contract, Harden will be a free agent this summer – and could land a top contract worth $ 250 million in five years.
Asked if he wants to join another year with the 76ers, Harden said, “I’ll stay here. Anything that will allow the team to continue to grow, perform well and do the things necessary to compete with us.”
Harden did not elaborate when asked about what Heat did to reduce him in Game 6.
“Nothing,” he said. “Nothing. We chased after our mistake. I felt as if a ball had moved and it had not returned to me. ”
The Sixers acquired Harden from the Nets in a blockbuster deal in late February, which was exchanged with Harden for Ben Simmons. The former MVP of the league is a tool to help fight the Sixers shooting led by Simmons.
Harden, who was a top performer during the Rockets era, missed out when the Sixers wanted him as the No. 1 pick. 2 scoring a way behind Embiid – who had 20 points and 12 rebounds while playing a number of injuries.
After the loss of Game 6, Embiid said Houston Harden fans already knew it was old-fashioned.
“Ever since we found him, everyone has been waiting for Houston James Harden,” Embiid said. “But they are not. He is a playful person. I thought that at times she would, like all of us, be extremely cruel. All of us whether it was Tire [Maxey] or Tobias [Harris] or guys off the bench.
“And I’m not just talking about hurtful things. Speaking of you know, all against security. I never thought we were safe as a team. He took advantage of many of the things we try to do to protect ourselves. And sadly, everyone is on the same page, obviously, they just have what it takes, three or four months for them all to work together and try to understand. It probably wasn’t too long. … I don’t think we played our best basketball. ”
Harden’s performance in the second half in Game 6, or his absence, angered ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith personality.
“That act of James Harden requires investigation,” the First Take recipient said after the game. “In the name of God how do you go 22 minutes into the second half and try one ball. It was a dangerous practice. Anemic’s performance is James Harden’s weakness. And I’m curious to see what the Philadelphia 76ers have done with it. [coach] Doc Rivers because I smell something and it doesn’t smell good. ”
Rivers, however, did not blame Harden after the Sixers were sent home from the playoffs.
“I’m not going to make this referendum on James, okay?” Rivers said. “We could have played better. The ball would move a lot. Did we have enough time to pack our belongings? I thought we did, honestly. I thought we did, but obviously we did not. ”