Possibilities Brewing for Tobias Harris This Summer – Where Will He Sign?
At just 26 years old and capable of playing multiple positions, Tobias Harris would typically be one of the most coveted free agents in the NBA.
But when guys like Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant are also available, someone like Tobias won’t be as heavily pursued when the feeding frenzy begins on July 1st.
Don’t get me wrong. Harris can bring a lot to the table and can most definitely be a major boost to just about any team in the league.
The 6’9” forward can bang down low and make it rain from the outside, not to mention isn’t afraid to guard on the other end of the floor.
There’s a chance we could see him stay in Philly, although the Nets and Lakers might very well come calling.
I actually think there’s another squad who could swoop in and make a case to lure Tobias to town, but let’s first take a peek at the betting odds dictating where the bookies predict he will land.
Tobias Harris – Odds for Where He Lands
Philadelphia is out in front with the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers next in line. However, I think we could see the two teams who round out this list make really strong cases when summertime finally arrives.
The Mavericks and Jazz each feel like they are probably only one player away from making some noise out West. Adding Tobias Harris could be that missing link.
Will Philadelphia Make a Push to Keep Tobias Harris?
The 76ers came oh-so-close to beating the Raptors and moving onto the Eastern Conference Finals, but Kawhi foiled those plans with his remarkable buzzer-beater in game 7.
Now that general manager Elton Brand has decided to bring Brett Brown back as the head coach, the question in Philadelphia is whether or not they are going to blow this whole thing up.
A case can be made for trying to keep the starting five together and see if they can develop into a more cohesive unit, but time is a precious thing in the NBA.
Does Jimmy Butler even want to be in Philly? Does it make sense to keep building around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons?
Truthfully, I’m guessing that Jimmy doesn’t enjoy playing second fiddle, and Ben’s upside is clearly negated when he’s forced to stand around on the perimeter. Should Butler end up on another team, there’s a much higher chance that Tobias re-signs and continues progressing alongside Embiid and Simmons.
Keep in mind that the Sixers can offer Harris $190 million — more than what any of his other suitors can afford. Even for someone as well-off as Tobias is, that’s an awful lot of money to turn down.
The Nets Could Be the Perfect Fit
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if 2010’s Mr. New York Basketball wants to come play for Brooklyn during the upcoming season. If you remember, Harris had more than 25 friends and family members in attendance at the Barclays Center for game 4 of the Sixers’ first-round series with the Nets.
Not only did Tobias grow up in the area and still have family present, but he even has an extended relationship with Nets current head coach Kenny Atkinson. Kenny’s older brother, Steve, coached Tobias’ little brother at the same high school Harris attended himself — Half Hollow Hills West.
All of this sounds great on paper, and I sincerely believe Harris’ skillset would be a terrific complement to what the Nets already have in place.
With that being said, none of this could matter if Brooklyn offers D’Angelo Russell a max deal and is able to entice Kevin Durant to join the team. Neither of those is set in stone just yet, so we’ll have to monitor the situation and see how things play out.
Would Harris Consider the Lakers?
The draft lottery might be behind us, but nothing of substance has really taken shape yet. Yeah, we know Zion will go #1, but that’s old news.
As far as the Lakers go, they could wind up drafting the best player available at #4 — perhaps Jarrett Culver or De’Andre Hunter, or maybe even a guy like Cam Reddish or Coby White.
But we can’t rule out the possibility of LA trying to package the #4 pick with a couple of their youngsters and sending the bundle to New Orleans for Anthony Davis. If that pans out, then I doubt the Lakers would be among the teams that Tobias would consider signing with.
But let’s pause for a second and consider the following scenario.
Say the Lakers miss out on all the big names — Kawhi, KD, Jimmy Butler, Klay Thompson, the whole gang. Now let’s say that David Griffin is able to convince Anthony Davis to stay with the Pelicans and sign an extension, meaning the idea of a trade between the two clubs once again falls through.
In this instance, the Lakers are left twiddling their thumbs trying to make something happen. What they could end up “making happen” is drafting a young guard who can handle the basketball and signing Tobias Harris to a long-term deal.
Surrounding LeBron with Tobias and adding a youngster like Jarrett Culver, along with the current pieces in place, doesn’t sound entirely awful. It likely won’t be enough to seriously contend for a title, but it’s a heck of a lot better than the alternative, which would be missing out on everyone — including Mr. Harris.
Don’t Sleep on the Mavericks Entering the Picture
Mark Cuban is hell-bent on winning games and being a factor in the Western Conference. That much is clear. Now that he has an all-world playmaker in Luka Doncic and a dynamic big man in Kristaps Porzingis, adding a third star who can glue everything together is the next order of business.
I’m under the assumption that Cuban’s primary objective is for Dallas to sign Kemba Walker in hopes that he and Doncic can coexist, but there’s a real chance that Kemba either stays in Charlotte or ends up in New York or LA. Should the Mavs strike out on Walker, Tobias could be the next man in line.
After averaging 18.6 points two seasons ago during stints in Detroit and Los Angeles, Harris upped his scoring to exactly 20.0 PPG in 2019. When you ponder what Rick Carlisle will be trying to accomplish, having a versatile forward who can shoot from the outside and take his man off the dribble would help alleviate some pressure off of Luka’s shoulders.
With Dirk Nowitzki officially retired and no longer carrying the torch in Dallas, the Mavericks will be looking to replace their storied power forward. Tobias Harris could very well be that guy.
The Jazz Could Really Use a Guy Like Tobias Harris
Think about it for a second.
Donovan Mitchell is a surging point guard who has “superstar” written all over him. Rudy Gobert has quietly become one of the most potent and dependable “bigs” in the NBA. Jae Crowder and Joe Ingles are respectable role players, meaning the Jazz are missing one piece to their puzzle.
Utah needs a good-sized forward who can put the ball on the floor and go get a bucket on his own. They need an individual who can not only give them 20+ points a night but also won’t be afraid to stick their neck out and guard the other team’s best player.
Ingles has done a decent job defending in the past, but they need more. They need a guy like Tobias Harris.
Should Utah let Derrick Favors walk freely, $16 million could come off the books. With Rubio’s status as an unrestricted free agent, the Jazz could essentially swap out Favors and Rubio to make room for Harris to come on board.
That would make a ton of sense to me, but we’ll see what Justin Zanik decides in his first go-around as the team’s general manager.
Tobias Harris Will Sign With…
With so many plausible scenarios flying around, it’s impossible to know where Tobias Harris will land for sure. Nonetheless, after doing some digging, Salt Lake City keeps popping up as his most likely destination.
It’s not that the Sixers or the Nets aren’t interested in Harris’ services, and the Lakers are expected to put in a call to Tobias’ agent once Plan A and Plan B go awry. But when it comes down to offering him a max deal, the Jazz seem like the candidates who will be in the best position to step up to the plate.
A Short Recap
So where is Tobias Harris going to sign when July arrives and free agents are finding new homes?
It’s not impossible that Tobias is wearing a Nets uniform in 2019/2020, but we have to account for the odds that Kevin Durant lands in Brooklyn first. Dallas and Los Angeles could both make sense, and Philly is still squarely in the mix until further notice.
I just know that Tobias wants to play for an organization that is poised for the future and a franchise where he can be a vital piece of the team’s success. The Utah Jazz might very well be that squad.
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