The Houston Rockets Have to Keep James Harden Happy. But How?

And that’s after Philadelphia awarded a five-year, top-dollar contract to its new coach, Doc Rivers; committed to a contract extension with the holdover general manager Elton Brand; and hired two executives (Indiana’s Peter Dinwiddie and Orlando’s Prosper Karangwa) under Brand.

Industry insiders estimate that Morey received a salary in excess of $10 million annually. Specific figures were not announced, but some insist that the deal tops the five-year, $60 million contract that Phil Jackson reportedly received when he was named team president by the Knicks. The Sixers, citing team policy, declined to discuss the contract specifics when asked this week.

One immediate plus for the Sixers in finally landing their man: Morey, as we know from the nearly 80 trades he swung in Houston from 2007 through last season, has the gumption to break up the tandem of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons by trading one of them if Rivers is unable to get them functioning better together.

One immediate concern: Morey, Rivers and Brand are all accustomed to having varying degrees of shot-calling power. So they will also have to prove, just like Philadelphia’s franchise duo, that they can mesh.

Morey joins Toronto’s Masai Ujiri and Boston’s Danny Ainge as high-profile executives in the Atlantic Division, where the Knicks’ new team president, Leon Rose, received his own lucrative deal in the spring.

Rose’s annual salary, I’m told, is in the $8 million range after he became the latest player agent to make the leap to the front office.

The last of the league’s nine coaching vacancies is in Oklahoma City.

Will Hardy, an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Charles Lee from the Milwaukee Bucks’ staff and Mark Daigneault, an assistant coach with the Thunder, are among the candidates who have received strong consideration for the post.

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