Basketball: Harden eyes championship after new deal, Green wants max contract

James Harden scored 442 points, 149 rebounds and 220 assists in his 21 games with the 76ers last season. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP, REUTERS) - James Harden says the Philadelphia 76ers have the pieces in place to challenge for a National Basketball Association championship after signing a new deal to remain with the franchise on Wednesday (July 27).

United States media reported last week that the 10-time All-Star had agreed a restructured two-year deal worth US$68.6 million (S$94.8 million) in a move that helps the Sixers bolster their roster.

The Sixers did not release terms of Harden's new deal in a statement confirming his re-signing on Wednesday.

Harden, who joined the Sixers in February in a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets, expressed delight at the deal.

"This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win, and I think we have the pieces to accomplish that goal," Harden said.

"From my first day with the 76ers organisation, the team and the fans have helped me feel at home here in Philadelphia.

"I'm excited to build off of last season and I can't wait to get out on the court with the guys and start this journey."

Harden scored 442 points, 149 rebounds and 220 assists in his 21 games with the 76ers last season.

Sixers coach Doc Rivers welcomed Harden's decision to pledge his future to the team.

"I couldn't be happier with James' decision to commit to our organisation," Rivers said.

"Over the last two years we have taken major steps toward our ultimate goal of becoming champions. James shares our drive to win a title, and he believes being a 76er gives him the best opportunity to do that."

Reports have said Harden will make US$33 million in the 2022-23 season in the deal that also includes a US$35.6 million player option for 2023-24.

He declined his US$47.4 million player option for the coming season to help the Sixers strengthen their roster.

Meanwhile, power forward Draymond Green is seeking a maximum contract extension from the Golden State Warriors, however, The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the team has "no plans" to accommodate him.

Green, who is seeking a four-year deal when he's eligible for a new contract on Aug 3, is set to be paid US$25.8 million and US$27.58 million over the next two seasons.

Draymond Green is seeking a maximum contract extension from the Golden State Warriors. PHOTO: AFP

The four-time All-Star could opt out of his deal for the 2023-24 campaign and become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

While Green would like to remain with the Warriors, The Athletic reported the 32-year-old is "willing to explore his outside options to get the kind of contract he wants".

To boot, Golden State forward Andrew Wiggins and guards Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole are in line for new contracts in the relatively near future.

Should the Warriors look to pay all parties, it could get rather pricey in terms of luxury taxes.

That's a sore subject considering the NBA fined Joe Lacob US$500,000 after the Warriors owner called the league's luxury tax "very unfair" last week.

The team paid more than US$170 million in luxury tax and US$346 million in total payroll last season.

Green averaged 7.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks in 46 games (44 starts) last season.

The NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, Green has contributed 8.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists in 685 career games (535 starts) since being selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2012 draft.

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