James Harden didn't leave the Brooklyn Nets on the best term, as he used passive-aggressive methods to force his way out of the team. He was dealt to Philadelphia in a blockbuster deal that sent Ben Simmons to Brooklyn.
Even though his stint with the Sixers started very well, with Harden quickly finding his touch with Joel Embiid, now things are different. The Beard isn't playing as expected, which has raised some eyebrows around the league.
Many people wonder if Harden will get that max contract this summer, but not everybody thinks he deserves it. One of his former coaches made a case against it, saying that the former NBA MVP hasn't shown anything to get that type of contract.
During a recent appearance on ESPN's Get Up, Amare Stoudemire had this to say:
“I can’t commit to that,” he said of offering Harden a max deal. “If I’m the owner of the Sixers, I cannot commit to giving him a max deal. I just don’t see the dedication that I would need to see from my top 75 player. You have to be able to have a certain level of determination and focus on being the best player you can possibly be and also be there for your teammates when they need you the most.… If he’s not capable of doing that as a max player, I’m not going to be willing to now give you a max contract if you’re not showing me that you can handle the situation.”
Harden still has a lot to prove, but it doesn't look like he'll have many opportunities. The Sixers are on the verge of being eliminated from the 2022 playoffs, and it's now or never for him. Either he steps up and forces a Game 7, or the Sixers will have second thoughts about offering him a huge contract.