NBA Free Agency: James Harden agrees to $70 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 contract to remain in Los Angeles, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. The contract will include a player option for a second seasonaccording to the report.

News of Harden's deal came Sunday just hours before the Clippers announced Paul George was heading into free agency. It's unclear where he will land, but George told the Clippers he would not be returning to the team after the two sides failed to agree on a new contract. The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly the frontrunners to land the nine-time All-Star wing.

Meanwhile, Russell Westbrook is also set to move on to another team. Shortly after free agency talks began on Sunday, sources told Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports that the Clippers are working to find a trade partner for the veteran point guard.

late sunday night, As Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Former Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. 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 in his time with the Clippers. Last season, he played an unfamiliar role as the third scoring option behind Leonard and George.

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

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

Harden also had his best season in years. He played 72 games for the Clippers, marking the first time since the 2018-19 season that he has played more than 68 games.

After Harden joined the Clippers as the third member of their Big Three, Los Angeles finished fourth in the West at 51–31. With Leonard out for four games, the Clippers suffered a disappointing first-round playoff loss to the eventual Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks.

Harden is still capable of scoring when needed. He stepped up his scoring, averaging 21.2 points, eight assists and 4.5 rebounds per game despite Leonard being out for most of that series. He scored 33 points in a Game 4 road win against the Mavericks.

Harden's personal career is complete. But he's still searching for his first NBA title as he heads into his 16th season.

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