Atlantic Notes: Sixers Tampering, Harden, Rivers, Simmons, VanVleet, Siakam, Luschenat

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The league is not only investigating whether the Sixers violated the rules of tampering before free will, but also if they have a handshake agreement with James Harden after the star guard declined his $47.4 million option and took a pay cut, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps during an appearance on NBA Today (video link).

Harden signed a two-year contract for $68.6 million that includes a player option. The league wonders if the Sixers’ front office, led by the president of basketball operations Daryl Moreyalready has another agreement in place with Harden regarding a future contract.

The league “could potentially inflict a very big penalty” on the Sixers if that happened, Bontemps said.

On the same show, an excerpt from The VC (Vince Carter) A show was aired in which the 76ers coach Doc Rivers denied the Sixers knew Harden would pull out and re-sign.

“I guarantee you Daryl had no idea what James was going to do,” said Rivers.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Rivers also spoke about the Ben Simmons situation, claiming that Simmons essentially overreacted to the problems he was having in Philadelphia (video link). “What frustrated me was that I still think that shouldn’t have been enough to want to leave,” said Rivers. “I told Ben and I kept telling him. That’s not why you want to leave a team. You solve these problems and they don’t solve themselves.
  • raptors stars Fred Van Vleet and Pascal Siakam could sign lucrative extensions this offseason but will likely decide to wait, as Eric Koreen of The Athletic Explain. VanVleet could sign a four-year contract extension worth around $114 million right now, but could get more money down the road if he waits and stays productive. Starting in October, Siakam could sign a three-year extension worth more than $125 million. However, Siakam – who has two years left on his current deal – could also get more by putting extension talks on the back burner.
  • Eand Celtics hire Craig Luschenat as player development coach Jared Weiss of The Athletic tweet. Luschenat was on staff at the G League team’s Maine branch.

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