Boston legend Paul Pierce doesn’t feel James Harden has earned to be maxed out by the Sixers

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Celtics great Paul Pierce was invited recently to appear on the “Ticket and the Truth” podcast and talked the most important actions that some franchises should make during the summer. The Boston legend was bold to say that the Sixers shouldn’t max out James Harden, as it’s rumored that the player is looking for a new destination in the NBA. 

Pierce sat down with co-host and former teammate Kevin Garnett and broke down what he thinks of the seven-time All-NBA guard’s situation.

“It depends on the numbers and the years,” he told Garnett. “You can’t, I don’t know if you could give James a maximum contract right now because then you gonna kinda like handicap your future and your flexibility. Because you got to get better. You got to add something to there.”

The Beard had turned down a player option for the 2023/24 campaign worth $35.6 million, as he preferred to hit unrestricted free agency. However, both the player and the 76ers are meditating over the possibility to sign a four-deal, $210 million contract this offseason.

Pierce believes that Harden is ancient history, and the Philadelphia roster should dedicate their investments into building the team around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, as the Celtics proved they lacked depth when they eliminated them from the Conference’s semifinals this postseason.

“Man, they got to get better,” Pierce said. “I don’t know what it is right now. I like (Tyrese) Maxey going forward. I mean they had it right — they should have won Game Six at home versus the Celtics. They fumbled that. Joel Embiid is in his prime right now, so maybe just development with their young guys off the bench.

“You always need players you can depend on. You need to get that player you can depend on off the bench. I think that’s what they need, some more dependability off the bench. Some depth.”

Some time ago, the Boston legend thought highly of Harden, saying he was the best player out there without an MVP. However, last year Pierce gave his take on the reasons why the veteran star has never won anything:

Both Rockets and Suns are contemplating over the possibility of poaching the veteran star this summer

Ever since the Sixers were eliminated from the playoffs, trade speculation has surrounded the Philadelphia camp over the possibilities of Harden staying put or potentially leaving to Houston or Phoenix.

ESPN Insider Ramona Shelburne appeared live last week on the “Mason & Ireland Radio” show and dropped a bomb.

“[The Phoenix Suns don’t waive Paul] unless they feel pretty good about somebody else. And I want you to keep your eye on James Harden,” she said. “I don’t want to report anything, but that was in the wind for the past month or so. Everybody thinks it’s like Philly or Houston but I don’t know, there has been discussions in the wind.”

However, a return to his beloved Rockets is another strong possibility. NBA reporter Jake Fischer explained how real is Houston’s interest in the veteran point guard’s grand return.

“The Rockets harbor plans to invest in winning additions to Houston’s three-year rebuild, but have so far only been linked to the franchise’s former All-Star centerpiece, James Harden, as well as other potential veteran newcomers who could slot alongside Harden, should he spurn Philadelphia on the open market….,” he wrote on a Yahoo Sports post.