It Seems Like James Harden Is Opting Out and Taking Less Than Expected

from AhnFireDigital


Anyone else feel dumb reading about all these acronyms, exceptions, and shit these last two weeks? I know I can’t be the only one. All I’ve read about are the Sixers using the Mid-Level Exception for PJ Tucker and now they dump a whole different acronym on me? What the fuck is BAE? It sounds like a new country in the Middle East we’ll be at war with by next year.

Thank god we have much smarter people around the Sixers like Derek Bodner to break down what the BAE actually is on his The Daily Six Newsletter:

Let’s say Harden does opt out, as I suggested this morning, and Woj mentioned on ESPN. In this scenario he Sixers would need for Harden to agree to a contract that starts at ~$43 million to be able to fit P.J. Tucker’s $9.5 million in without making any trades.

But the combination of these two developments – reports that Harden might opt-out, and the increase in the cap – opens up the possibility that the Sixers could not only sign P.J. Tucker, but also use the $4.1m bi-annual exception to add further depth.

Here’s the hypothetical: they trade Matisse Thybulle to a team with cap space, clearing his $4.379 million off the books. James Harden agrees to a contract with a starting value of $43 million – not the lowest he could go, but a concession off the $47.4 million he would get if he opts in. That would allow the Sixers to sign Tucker ($9.5 million) and use their bi-annual exception ($4.1 million) and sit at $156.548 million in salary with 14 players under contract, just under the $156.983m hard cap.

The Sixers would likely want more room under the hard cap to go down that path, so they could add someone for that 15th roster spot, and for in-season moves. But there’s a pathway to that reality now. Earlier this morning, when all the reporting was that Harden was going to opt-in and extend, and before the cap spike, the scenario looked a lot bleaker.

More money for more free agents? Let’s party:

P.S. WOJ BOMB! Don’t know if it’s possible for the Sixers to get Beal under the cap, but not even the brightest Sixers minds thought the BAE was possible an hour ago: