NBA megastar Harden amazes fans with body transformation after dramatic pay cut

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NBA superstar James Harden has shocked fans with his new look figure as photos emerged showing the Philadelphia 76ers guard appearing lean and athletic.

Harden has been embroiled in jokes online as he often goes through enormous body transformations in the offseason, letting himself go before battling back to find fitness ahead of the regular season. Photos have surfaced showing the 32-year-old with a lean body as the NBA season draws closer.

The images have impressed fans on Twitter. User Guru (@DrGuru_) suggesting the 2018 NBA MVP is ‘on a mission this season’ while Watlnamot (@brentdigwapo) wrote: “Dude took a paycut. He’s chasing a W.”

READ MORE: NBA legend LeBron James can earn over £350,000 for every Instagram post he makes

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The images come after Harden did indeed take a monster pay cut of around $13million (£10.9m). Harden inked the new two-year contract worth $68m (£57.2m) with the 76ers after he declined his $47m (£39.5m) player option for the upcoming season.

He took the substantial pay cut for the upcoming season in order to help the Sixers pad out the rest of their roster with better players. In a statement, Harden said: “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. 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.”

Do you think James Harden's Philadelphia 76ers can win the NBA championship? Let us know in the comments section.

The 76ers ultimately used the additional cap space to sign PJ Tucker and Danuel House – two of Harden's former teammates when he starred for the Houston Rockets – along with Trevelin Queen. Harden has previously spoken of his priority to win as the reason he accepted a cheaper deal.

“I had conversations with [Sixers president of basketball operations] Daryl [Morey], and it was explained how we could get better and what the market value was for certain players,” Harden said last month. “I told Daryl to improve the roster, sign who we needed to sign and give me whatever is left over.

“This is how bad I want to win. I want to compete for a championship. That's all that matters to me at this stage. I'm willing to take less to put us in position to accomplish that.”

Harden is clearly committed to winning in Philadelphia, but it must be noted the commitment may only last a season if things take a turn for the worse. He will have the opportunity to opt out of his deal and hit unrestricted free agency next summer.

The 76ers will hope this scenario does not play out and that a revamped roster paired with both a healthy, happy Harden and a leading star in Joel Embiid can take them out of the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 20 years. Philadelphia last won a championship in 1983 – and the 2022/23 season will be the 40th anniversary of that title triumph.

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