Charles Barkley Warns Sixers About Giving James Harden $200 Million Contract Extension

James Harden playing for Team USA
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JB Baruelo

The successful acquisition of James Harden before the 2022 NBA trade deadline made most people believe that the Philadelphia 76ers were finally ready to fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season. Unfortunately, the tandem of Harden and Joel Embiid was unable to carry the Sixers to the NBA Finals after they suffered an early elimination at the hands of the Miami Heat in the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. With the season officially over for the Sixers, some people started talking about Harden's future in Philadelphia.

Charles Barkley On James Harden's Contract Extension

Charles Barkley talking to reporters
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Harden has a player option on his contract and is eligible to sign a massive contract extension this summer. Though both parties intend to continue their partnership, former NBA player and analyst Charles Barkley believes that giving Harden a four-year, $200 million extension would be a huge mistake for the Sixers.

"If the Sixers give him that money, they should fire whoever gives him that contract because that’d kill the franchise for the next 10 to 15 years because I can say when they made that trade, the reason I don’t like the trade is I don’t think they’re gonna win the championship in the next two years, and they’re gonna waste two years of Joel Embiid," Barkley said in an appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio, as quoted by Yahoo Sports.

James Harden Already In Decline

James Harden finding an open teammate
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With all the assets that they gave up just to acquire him from the Brooklyn Nets, it only makes sense for the Sixers to extend Harden's contract. If they don't, they would risk losing him in the summer of 2023 as a free agent without getting anything in return. However, Barkley thinks that "The Beard"doesn't deserve a maximum contract extension since he's clearly no longer the player that he used to be.

"I just think he’s on a decline and man, the Sixers, they’re gonna regret that trade," Barkley added.

Daryl Morey On James Harden's Future

James Harden taking a free throw
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In a press conference following their Game 6 loss to the Heat, Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey discussed several interesting topics, including Harden's future with the Sixers. From the time they engaged in a blockbuster deal with the Nets to acquire Harden, Morey said that their plan is to bring the 10-time NBA All-Star back. However, Morey didn't give further details about Harden's contract situation.

"Obviously, we have to work with his representation and that'll be between us to figure out how that works," Morey said.

James Harden On Taking A Pay Cut

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Since their season came to an end, Harden has been telling everyone in the league that he intends to stay with the Sixers. When asked about the possibility of taking a pay cut on his next contract, the veteran shooting guard said that he will do everything he can to help the Sixers improve their chances of winning the NBA championship title.

"Whatever it takes to help this team continue to grow, and put us up there with the best of them," Harden said. "We're trying to win a championship. That's the goal. Whatever that looks like."