Tobias Harris will be one of 10 76ers who will decide his own future in free agency this summer.
The Sixers brass will, by all accounts, be ready and willing to offer Harris an incredible amount of money to keep him in Philadelphia. The question is, will Harris accept?
When Harris arrived in Philadelphia, he said the most important thing to him is loyalty. His NBA career to this point has been decided by everyone except for himself. He’s been traded from team to team with very little stability to speak of.
By declining an $80 million extension with the Clippers and riding out the final year of his contract with the Sixers, Harris finally has control of his own career and will decide where he wants to be.
The Sixers will offer him the stability, loyalty, and contract that Harris is looking for, but there is something else Harris said Monday that he’ll be seeking.
“For me, honestly, style of play is a huge thing,” the 6-foot-9 forward said.
There are a couple of ways to look at this quote.
On one hand, it could be argued that with another team, such as the Brooklyn Nets, Harris would have more touches and more opportunity to influence the offense in a tangible way. He would be the first or second option on a team that is close to home for the Long Island native. Additionally, he would probably be more encouraged to create for himself and work off the dribble.
On the Sixers, Harris is the third option at best. So if he’s talking about the style of play that most suits production and scoring opportunities, it might not be with the Sixers.
On the other hand, you could look at the potential the Sixers have and what could be a very free-flowing offense once this starting group has more time together. The Sixers were just inches away from an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, and with more time, health, growth, and repetition on their side, they very well might have made it to the Finals.
Brett Brown shared what will most likely be part of the pitch to keep Harris with the Sixers. He pointed out that Harris is just 26 and that he is confident Harris can get better, especially within the Sixers system. When talking about style of play, Brown said a player such as Harris will have a variety of options rather than be planted as a spot-up shooter.
“We play fast. We share the ball. We go side to side. We’re not just setting people in a corner,” Brown said. “I think people want to move and touch the ball and share and so on.”
Brown also noted Harris’ athleticism and speed and possibilities in transition as well as the ever-growing importance of the three-point shot. Harris’ three-point efficiency dropped during his time with the Sixers, but he was shooting upwards of 40 percent from deep and has grown his perimeter game over the last couple of seasons.
Additionally, Harris noted again wanting stability and to play in a winning culture with a chance to win. The Nets, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Knicks, and Jazz are reportedly teams that are going to bid for Harris this summer. The Sixers will definitely be in the upper tier of that group as far as contending teams are concerned.
Even Harris’ father, Torrel, who is also his agent, told the New York Post during the first round of the playoffs that he is hopeful that Harris will stay with the Sixers.
All things considered, the Sixers look as if they’ll have a very compelling argument for keeping Harris and it will likely come down to the Sixers and one of the New York teams.