Before the February NBA trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for Tobias Harris with the hope that he could boost their chance of winning the NBA championship title in the 2018-19 NBA season. Harris somewhat managed to impress and build good chemistry with Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, and J.J. Redick, but it wasn’t enough to help the Sixers achieve their main goal as they were eliminated by the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
With the season officially over for the Sixers, they now need to focus on the 2019 NBA offseason, where some of their core players, including Tobias Harris, will be hitting the free agency market. The Sixers have already revealed their plan to bring Harris back, but that won’t stop other NBA teams from trying to steal him in the 2019 NBA free agency. Aside from the Sixers, NBA teams who could create a maximum salary cap space like the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, and Brooklyn Nets are also planning to make their free agency pitch to Harris next July, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“According to several sources, the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, and Brooklyn Nets are among the teams that will go after the forward in free agency. All five teams can offer maximum-salary contracts. By trading for Harris, the Sixers acquired his Bird rights. That enables them to offer him a five-year, $188 million max contract. Teams that don’t have his rights are only able to offer Harris a four-year, $141 million max contract in free agency. The Sixers will most likely have to offer the five-year maximum for him to stay.”
Tobias Harris may not the best player in the 2019 NBA free agency class that will also feature Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors, Kawhi Leonard of the Toronto Raptors, Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets, and Jimmy Butler of the Sixers, but it’s not surprising why he’s getting plenty of interest from several NBA teams in the league. Unlike those incoming free agents, Harris can efficiently play alongside other NBA superstars and excel in an off-ball capacity.
In the 27 games he played on the Sixers’ team that has Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, and Jimmy Butler, Tobias still posted incredible numbers, averaging 18.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on 46.9 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Sixers may have expressed their intention to keep Harris long-term in Philadelphia, but if they offer him less than the max, the Nets, Mavericks, Pacers, Kings, and the Grizzlies will surely do everything they can to steal him in the 2019 NBA free agency.