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Sources – James Harden, Clippers agree to 2-year, $70M deal


Sources – James Harden, Clippers agree to 2-year, $70M deal

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

The Clippers and Harden wasted little time in coming to an agreement as free agent All-Star wing Paul George’s future with the team remained uncertain. George was scheduled to meet with the Clippers, Sixers and Magic beginning on late Sunday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Clippers traded for Harden in late October and after a slow start, the point guard helped the Clippers turn around from a 3-7 start to being atop of the Western Conference standings briefly at 34-15 in early February.

Harden, a Los Angeles native, repeatedly expressed during the season how happy he was playing at home. The point guard, who will turn 35 in August, averaged 16.6 points and 8.5 assists in 72 games for the Clippers this past season.

“We think James has been terrific for us when we obtained him five games into the season,” Lawrence Frank, Clippers president of basketball operations said last Thursday. “Thought he had a terrific season… He’s been great in terms of even the offseason, coming in, working out, coming in two-a-days, getting extra work in.”

Harden forced a trade to Los Angeles after a very public falling out with president of basketball operations Daryl Morey over Harden’s contractual situation last summer. It was Harden’s third change-of-address in under three calendar years after his long-term run with the Houston Rockets, where he became an MVP and helped revolutionize the way offense is played in the NBA.

While no longer posting big scoring numbers alongside Kawhi Leonard and George, Harden showed this past season that he remains a strong pick-and-roll operator and good 3-point shooter. Harden still ranked second in the NBA in points per isolation last season, a nod to his days as a 30-point scorer, but he also attempted 153 catch-and-shoot 3-pointers — his most since 2017-18 — as he spent more time off the ball in L.A.

His 72 games played were his most in a season since 2018-19. Harden averaged 21.2 points and 8.0 assists in the Clippers’ first-round loss against the Mavericks when Leonard missed the last three games due to a knee injury.

ESPN Stats & Information and Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.

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