July 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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NBA Free Agency: James Harden Reportedly Agrees to $70 Million Deal to Remain with Clippers

NBA Free Agency: James Harden Reportedly Agrees to  Million Deal to Remain with Clippers

James Harden will remain with the Clippers.

The 10-time All-Star and former league MVP has agreed to a two-year, $70 million deal to remain in Los Angeles, Shams Charania reports for The Athletic. The contract will include Player option in Season 2according to the report.

News of the Harden deal arrived on Sunday, hours before the Clippers announced the departure of Paul George as a free agent. It’s not yet clear where his contract will end, but George told the Clippers he will not return to the team after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a new contract. The Philadelphia 76ers are said to be the favorites to sign the nine-time All-Star winger.

Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook appears to be headed to another team as well. Shortly after free agency negotiations began on Sunday, sources told Jake Fisher of Yahoo Sports that the Clippers are working on finding a trade partner for the veteran guard.

late Sunday, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports Former Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. has agreed to sign a three-year, $30 million contract with the Clippers.

At 34, Harden is no longer the same player who won three scoring titles and an MVP award in his prime. He assumed an unfamiliar role with the Clippers last season as the third scoring option behind Leonard and George.

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His 16.6 points per game was his lowest scoring average since coming off the bench in Oklahoma City behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in the 2011–12 season. It was the first time since that season that he averaged fewer than 20 points per game.

He led the Clippers with 8.5 assists along with 5.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. His 4.8 free throw attempts per game were the third-fewest of his career.

Harden also had his healthiest campaign in years. He played 72 games with the Clippers, the first time he played more than 68 games since the 2018-19 season.

With Harden joining the Clippers as the third member of the Big Three, Los Angeles finished fourth in the West at 51-31. With Leonard floundering and missing four games, the Clippers suffered a disappointing first-round loss to the Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks.

Harden still managed to score when needed. He upped his scoring averages to 21.2 points, eight assists and 4.5 rebounds per game with Leonard sidelined for most of the series. He scored 33 points in his team’s home win in Game 4 against the Mavericks.

Harden’s individual resume is complete. But he is still seeking his first NBA title as he approaches his 16th season.