Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden is looking to maximize his performance in the 2022-23 season. The 10-time All-Star missed games last season with a hamstring injury.
This time around, Harden hopes he can still play at the explosive level he did during his time with the Houston Rockets. During the 2018-19 season, the guard averaged a career-high 36.1 points per game against Houston.
“He’s getting there,” Harden replied when asked about playing at full strength. For the 2022-23 season, The Citadel hosted the 76ers’ training camp.
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— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 2, 2022
“We’ve been playing with a full training camp,” Harden continued. “So, there are times and periods of dead feet or rough feet. But those are the moments where you have to push him, characters like that.
Harden knows his limitations, but he’s getting used to practicing with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. Of course, during the playoffs, GM Elton Brand added Daniel House and DeAnthony Melton to the roster as well.
76ers guard James Harden believes explosive game will return for 2022-23 season
Harden played just 21 games with the Sixers last season after the Nets traded Paul Millsap to Philadelphia. In exchange, the Nets received Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, a 2022 first-round draft pick and a 2027 first-round draft pick.
In 65 games last season, the guard averaged 22 points, 7.7 rebounds, 10.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per contest. While with the 76ers, the Arizona State product averaged 21 points, 7.1 rebounds, 10.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game.
In July, Harden signed a two-year, $68.6 million contract with the 76ers. According to multiple reports, the three-time scoring champion will earn $14.5 million less through the 2022-23 season than he could have earned under his previous contract.
We are back.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 3, 2022
Harden in 2011. In 2017, he signed a four-year extension with the Rockets worth $160 million. It was basically a six-year contract with $228 million guaranteed. He is projected to make $33 million with the 76ers for the upcoming 2022-23 season.
However, the 13-year veteran signed this team-friendly deal with the Sixers to take advantage of their offseason. Not to mention, James Harden will be eligible to sign a supermax extension with Philadelphia next summer.
In addition to signing House and trading for Melton, the 76ers signed former Heat forward PJ Tucker to a three-year, $33 million contract. Additionally, former Hornets center Montrezel Harrell signed a two-year, $5.22 million contract with the team.
The 76ers play the Nets at Barclays Center tonight at 7:30 pm ET for their preseason opener. If you’re interested, the matchup can be watched live on NBA TV. Sixers guards Isaiah Joe and Julian Champagne are game-time decisions.