James Harden, Doc Rivers expected to return to 76ers

doc rivers, James Harden, NBA, philadelphia 76ers

On Thursday, the Philadelphia 76ers saw its postseason run end, eliminated in six games by the no. 1 seed Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

After another premature exit from the playoffs, significant changes seemed to be on the horizon for the 76ers. However, in a press conference on Friday, 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey revealed that two key pieces to the team, point guard James Harden and head coach Doc Rivers, would likely be back in the fold for next season. 

When asked about Harden’s status moving forward, Morey said the team plans to bring the 32-year-old point guard back, and they’ll be negotiating with his representation to make it happen. 

Harden’s contract has a player option for next season that will pay him $47.3 million. 

There’s been speculation that the Sixers would offer Harden a max extension; however, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst balked at the idea, saying, “nobody in the NBA believes that the Sixers are going to give James Harden a max contract.” 

On the topic of Rivers, Morey said “yes” when asked if he could guarantee the veteran coach would be back with the team next season, later adding, “I think he’s a great coach and I love working with him.” 

The 76ers finished 51-31 under Rivers in his second season at the helm in Philadelphia. 

Over two seasons in Philly, the Sixers have gone 100-54 in the regular season under Rivers. They’ve made the postseason each season but have failed to advance past the second round, going 13-11. 

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