Tobias Harris, deciding to focus on the next 76ers season, has become the latest NBA player to announce that he has pulled out of the USA Basketball training camp and the FIBA World Cup, The Inquirer has learned.
The USA Basketball men’s national team minicamp is set for this weekend at UNLV. Training camp will begin Aug. 5. After practices and exhibition games, the team will participate in the World Cup, which runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 15 in China.
Harris was one of 20 players invited to the minicamp. Right now, the minicamp roster is down to 14 and expected to dwindle even more.
The other notable players, who have withdrawn are Lakers power forward Anthony Davis, Wizards guard Bradley Beal, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, and Rockets guards James Harden and Eric Gordon. Sixers point guard Ben Simmons (Australia) and Cavaliers post player Tristan Thompson (Canada) also have withdrawn from the World Cup.
But this season will be a big one for the Sixers and Harris, who signed a five-year, $180 million contract to remain with the squad on July 10.
He wants to concentrate on keeping his body healthy and on preparing for what will be larger role on the team. The Sixers are among the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Sixers acquired Harris in a February trade with the Clippers. His signing comes one summer after the 26-year-old declined a five-year, $80 million contract to stay with the Clippers. Betting on himself, the Long Island native played out the final year of his contract this past season and received a huge payday.
The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder can play both forward positions. He’s also an elite three-point shooter and finisher around the basket. The Sixers were hard to beat when the 26-year-old got off to strong starts in games.
But he has been underutilized as a Sixer, and the team intends to make him more of the offensive game plan this season.