Report: Five teams emerge as potential Tobias Harris suitors
The Philadelphia 76ers have a big offseason ahead. In-season additions, Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, are both free agents along with what feels like the rest of the team too. There are only three players under contract for the Sixers as it stands -- Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Zhaire Smith.
When Elton Brand traded for Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, he got assurances from the Sixers managing partners that they could bring both of them back and sign them for what they need to be signed for in free agency. That doesn't guarantee anything as either of those two could decide they have a better chance to win or the opportunity to have a larger role in the offense elsewhere.
The Sixers gave up Robert Covington and Dario Saric to acquire Butler in November before trading Landry Shamet, Wilson Chanlder, Mike Muscala and four picks to the Clippers for Tobias Harris, Mike Scott and Boban Marjanovic. Those picks included a protected 2020 first-rounder and Heat's unprotected 2021 first-round pick. A lot to give up, especially if they do not return.
There have been some rumors about Jimmy Butler having interest in playing on the west coast, but for Tobias Harris, he wants to feel stable where he's going and be comfortable with his role on the team. If the organization re-signs Butler, will Harris be okay being the third or fourth option on a championship-caliber team? Or will he opt to go somewhere else to be more of a primary option?
If he chooses to leave Philadelphia for good, there are already five teams reportedly set to pursue Harris once free agency begins in July. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Kings, Jazz, Pacers, Mavericks and Nets are among the teams that plan to go after the 6-foot-9 forward.
The Sixers do have the benefit of Bird rights, so they can offer Harris a five-year, $188 million max contract. Other teams will only be able to offer Harris a four-year, $141 million contract.
Before being acquired by the Sixers in February, Harris shot 43.4 percent from beyond the arc in 55 games. In 27 regular season games with the Sixers, he shot just 32.6 percent from beyond, never really being a focal point of play-calling on the offensive end. He shot 34.9 percent from three-point land in 12 playoff games.
Harris' usage could be increased if the Sixers decide to move on from JJ Redick. He could slide into a duo role aside Joel Embiid similar to that of JJ and Joel did during the majority of the season. Whether that be pick-and-roll or dribble-hand-offs, Tobias Harris would likely benefit from the departure of Redick or a JJ return, but to the bench.
NBA free agency will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 3rd. The 2019 free agent class includes the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving and Klay Thompson, just to name a few.
Brandon Apter is a Sixers contributor for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.