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James Harden, Clippers Finalize 2-Year $70M Contract

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James Harden has come to a two-year, $70 million deal to remain with the LA Clippers, according to league sources speaking to ESPN on Sunday.

The agreement between Harden and the Los Angeles Clippers was quickly reached, clashing with uncertainties surrounding the future of free agent All-Star wing Paul George, who was scheduled to meet with the Clippers, Sixers, and Magic starting late Sunday, sources disclosed to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

James Harden, who is a native of Los Angeles, consistently expressed his satisfaction with playing in his hometown throughout the season. The 34-year-old Harden point guard averaged 16.6 points and 8.5 assists across 72 games for the Clippers this past season.

Harden orchestrated a move to Los Angeles after a highly publicized fallout with the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, Daryl Morey, over contract issues last summer. This relocation marked Harden’s third team change in less than three years, following his extensive tenure with the Houston Rockets, where he achieved MVP status and significantly influenced NBA offensive strategies.

Harden showcased his enduring skills as a proficient pick-and-roll operator and adept three-point shooter this season, despite decreased scoring output alongside teammates Kawhi Leonard and George. His continued effectiveness was underscored by ranking second in the NBA for points per isolation, reminiscent of his days as a 30-point scorer. Harden also adapted by attempting 153 catch-and-shoot three-pointers, the most since the 2017-18 season, reflecting his increased off-ball role in Los Angeles.

Harden averaged 21.2 points and 8.0 assists, notably stepping up in the absence of Leonard during the Clippers’ first-round playoff exit against the Mavericks, who missed the final three games due to a knee injury. His 72 appearances in the season marked his highest since 2018–19. 

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