Report: Sixers offering Harris less than a max contract
The Philadelphia 76ers have some gigantic decisions to make once free agency begins at 6:00 p.m. on June 30. Jimmy Butler is being heavily pursued by the Houston Rockets while Tobias Harris has been on the lists of numerous teams, including the Nets, Nuggets, Mavericks and Clippers.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Sixers are confident they can re-sign both Butler and Harris in free agency this summer. While Butler will almost certainly get a max offer from the Sixers, and other teams, the jury is still out on Harris. Some believe he's worth a full four/five year max while others think that he isn't quite a max level player right now.
If Philadelphia wants to get the band back together for the 2019-20 season and beyond, a max contract of five years, $190 million, might be what it takes for Harris. Will they max out both guys though? Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report is hearing that the Sixers are offering Harris less than that.
Tobias Harris, league sources said, is being offered less than a max contract by the Philadelphia 76ers, giving both the Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets hope they can swoop in and lure him away.
Though he under-performed during his time with the Sixers, his career numbers show the ability to be a consistent knock-down shooter and three-point threat. Elton Brand sent a package that included two future first-round picks and rookie sharp-shooter Landry Shamet to the Clippers for Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.
Harris reportedly turned down a four-year, $80 million extension with the Clippers heading into the 2018-19 season before he was ultimately traded to the Sixers. The 26-year-old forward is planning to hold free agent meetings on both coasts on June 30 and July 1. The Athletic's Shams Charania reports that we shouldn't rule out Harris' former club from making a run at him in free agency.
Harris is a priority for the 76ers — and expected to command a maximum-level contract. One team that should express interest in Harris should they miss out on Kawhi Leonard, according to league sources: The Clippers. Harris and the Clippers had a good relationship and Harris had an All-Star caliber season before the trade to the 76ers in February. Brooklyn, Dallas, Denver, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Sacramento are expected to also express interest.
Bucher also mentions in his piece that Jimmy Butler has expressed interest in taking less than the max to join the Lakers, who recently acquired Anthony Davis from New Orleans.
But Butler, the Western Conference executive said, has interest in being the third star with the Los Angeles Lakers, even if it means accepting slightly less than a maximum salary. This is a shift by Butler and could reflect the value of the Lakers in his eyes now that they are about to pair Anthony Davis with LeBron James.
Butler was a key guy down the stretch for the Sixers in the playoffs. Losing both him and Harris would give them a lot of room to build around Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, but the organization's best chance at a championship would likely be to run it back.
Brandon Apter is a Sixers contributor for 97.3 ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @bapter23.