Tobias Harris had a breakout year at the best possible time. Heading into his walk year, Harris appeared as the Los Angeles Clippers’ main offensive option, which attracted the attention of the Philadelphia 76ers. As Philadelphia pursued a big playoff run, they made a deal which Harris was the centre of.
Harris is an unrestricted free agent in an offseason that will, one way or another, determine the short-term future of the NBA. He is a way down the list of big names available, but the 6’9” forward remains a key cog in the offseason NBA machine.
Here are three teams who should consider it…
Michael Scotto reported in The Athletic recently that Tobias Harris and the Brooklyn Nets have a ‘mutual interest’ in free agency. With Kyrie Irving seeming like he’s heading to Barclays Center, the Nets are expected to open up a second max contract slot by allowing restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell to leave in free agency.
Harris is a good fit alongside Irving. He’s capable of being the ball handler or screener in pick and roll sets and could be dangerous in the pick and pop with the slick handles of Irving. Harris spaces the floor, and he’s known Nets coach Kenny Atkinson for a long time.
Upon joining a much-changed Sixers roster, Harris fitted in smoothly, adapting to the role of third or fourth option having been number one with the Clippers. That’s something any potential suitor will be pleased to see.
This is the most obvious team on the list and the franchise that can give Harris the biggest bag of money. Philadelphia’s general manager Elton Brand had talked the talk about paying Harris and Jimmy Butler, but it remains to be seen if the Sixers will commit to years of luxury tax payments and financial restrictions.
With Ben Simmons’ extension coming up and Joel Embiid receiving all the money in the world, Philadelphia’s best route to a ‘big three’ or even ‘big four’ is to hand Harris and Butler the contracts they want. We’ve seen his fit on the Sixers, and it was okay, even when they were having to figure things out midseason.
Harris’ three-point shooting dipped as a Sixer, and his defence was found wanting at times in the postseason, however. He’s at risk of being the odd man out in Philadelphia, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the Sixers paid him the max contract he’ll want. Who knows, Philly could be title favourites if they keep Harris and Butler.
Harris and the Mavericks have been mentioned as a potential match on our site before. Dallas have one max contract spot available after sending Harrison Barnes to the Sacramento Kings midway through the 2018/19 campaign.
The Mavericks are set for an interesting summer as they try to construct a functional roster around Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. They could opt to stick this year and focus on the 2020 or 2021 free agency classes, as this is the beginning of their window, but Harris is definitely a player they will consider.
It’s not just the floor spacing and potential 20-point per game scoring that the Mavericks will be keen on, either. Harris is a very good rebounder, which was an area Dallas struggled in last season. Pairing Harris with Porzingis in the front court would go a long way to addressing that issue.