NBA: James Harden set to leave 76ers, rejecting a $36.5m deal and moving into free agency

James Harden is set to LEAVE 76ers, rejecting a $36.5m deal and moving into free agency… days after Boston Celtics playoffs defeat and insisting ‘I just want to compete’

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Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden intends to decline his $35.6 million player option and enter free agency this summer, Bleacher Report reported.

The 10-time All-Star is looking for a four-year contract with a team that has a ‘competitive roster,’ and he wants the ‘basketball freedom … to be himself,’ per the report.

Harden, 33, averaged 21.0 points, a league-leading 10.7 assists and 6.1 rebounds in 58 games (all starts) in 2022-23.

The report cited a long-term deal with Philadelphia as ‘the only logical option’ and downplayed Harden’s rumored return to the Houston Rockets.

The Sixers lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics on Sunday and fired head coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday.

James Harden is set to leave Philly for a more ‘competitive roster’ and ‘basketball freedom’

Harden owns career averages of 24.7 points, 7.0 assists and 5.6 rebounds in 1,000 games (786 starts) with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rockets, Brooklyn Nets and 76ers.

More to follow…