The Philadelphia 76ers pulled off one of the biggest trades in recent NBA history when they sent Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry to the Nets to land former MVP James Harden. The move paired up Harden with Joel Embiid, thus making the 76ers one of the favorites to win the NBA championship. But one NBA analyst believes the 76ers are concerned about giving Harden a long-term deal.
NBA analyst Chris Mannix spoke on Bill Simmons' podcast about the Philadelphia 76ers offering James Harden a long-term deal. He noted that Harden hasn't given a lot of confidence through his performances and that his playoff track record doesn't guarantee he will help the 76ers win the championship. While Mannix thinks the 76ers will offer him the deal, they are concerned about signing him for big money.
“There are definitely people in Philadelphia wary of giving James Harden what would be tantamount to a five-year, quarter of a billion-dollar deal. Even now, with the short sample size of watching him, that’s a concern. That’s a legitimate concern amongst some people in Philly. It’s going to be a bad contract at some point, the concern is; does it become a bad contract sooner rather than later? And I’d be a little worried about that. If you don’t get a great playoff run this year out of him, are you going to get one next year? When does he start to really decline? They’re going to give him that contract, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, but that’s a worry for some people down there.”
James Harden started his stint with the 76ers quite well, putting on good performances. But since then, he has struggled with consistency over the last few games. With Joel Embiid playing the way he is, the 76ers desperately need Harden to play at the highest possible level, if they want any chance to win the NBA championship.
Harden has had a history of poor performances in the playoffs, especially in crucial games. Most fans will point to the 2018 Western Conference Finals, when James Harden, who was the regular-season MVP, collapsed in Game 7 against the Golden State Warriors. Harden will be desperate to shed that reputation, something Charles Barkley recently said he hasn't done.