Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden is aiming to elevate his performance in the 2022-23 season. Last season, the 10-time All-Star missed games due to a lingering hamstring injury.
This time around, Harden hopes he can still play with the same level of explosiveness he did while with the Houston Rockets. In the 2018-19 season, the guard averaged a career-high 36.1 points per game with Houston.
When asked about playing at full strength, Harden replied, “It’s getting there.” For the 2022-23 season, The Citadel hosted the 76ers’ training camp.
Numerous NBA betting sites are showing top-10 championship odds for the 76ers in 2023. Check out which sportsbooks are anticipating an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 2, 2022
“We’re playing with a full training camp,” continued Harden. “So, there’s times and periods that you have dead legs or rough legs. But those are the times when you’ve just got to push through it, those character things like that.”
Although Harden knows his limits, he’s still getting used to practicing with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. Of course, during the offseason, G.M. Elton Brand added Danuel House and De’Anthony Melton to the roster as well.
76ers guard James Harden believes his explosive play will return for the 2022-23 season
Harden played only 21 games with the Sixers last season after the Nets traded him to Philadelphia, along with Paul Millsap. In exchange, the Nets received Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, a 2022 first-round draft pick, and a 2027 first-round draft pick.
Through 65 appearances 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. Per multiple reports, the three-time scoring champ will earn roughly $14.5 million less in the 2022-23 season than he could have made under his previous deal.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 3, 2022
Harden signed a four-year extension with the Rockets worth $160 million in 2017. Essentially, this was a six-year deal that totaled $228 million guaranteed. He was projected to make $33 million with the 76ers in the upcoming 2022-23 season.
However, the 13-year veteran signed this team-friendly deal with the Sixers to benefit 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 P.J. Tucker to a three-year, $33 million contract. Plus, former Hornets center Montrezl Harrell signed a two-year, $5.22 million deal with the team as well.
For their preseason opener, the 76ers play the Nets at Barclays Center tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET. If interested, the matchup can be watched live on NBA TV. Sixers guards Isaiah Joe and Julian Champagnie are game time decisions.
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