NBA Rumors: Pelicans Interested In Signing Sixers Forward Tobias Harris, Per ‘The Athletic’

Tobias Harris #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after a basket in the second quarter against the Brooklyn Nets during game three of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs.
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Count the New Orleans Pelicans among the many teams that are reportedly interested in signing Tobias Harris in free agency.

On this Wednesday’s edition of his “Inside Pass” column for subscriber-only sports outlet The Athletic, Shams Charania noted that the Pelicans have shown interest in Harris, who will be entering free agency on Sunday evening as one of the most sought-after targets this offseason, as cited by Sporting News. Previous reports had suggested that the Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Utah Jazz are among the other teams hoping to add the Philadelphia 76ers forward to their roster this summer.

As further cited, the Sixers are reportedly interested in re-signing the 26-year-old Harris, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the February trade deadline. Interestingly, the Clippers might have a chance of bringing Harris back to their roster this summer, as Charania noted that the team could target him if they are unable to lure Kawhi Leonard away from the Toronto Raptors.

Since entering the NBA as the 19th overall pick in the 2011 draft, Tobias Harris has had a well-traveled professional career, as he has played for five teams thus far in eight seasons. Most recently, he averaged 20 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists and shot 48.7 percent from the field and 39.7 percent from beyond the arc in 82 games split between the Clippers and Sixers, as shown on his Basketball-Reference player page. Despite posting solid numbers in seven of his eight seasons — he saw little action in his rookie year with the Milwaukee Bucks — Harris has yet to be named to an NBA All-Star team.

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Should the New Orleans Pelicans be able to sign Harris, he will join a team that has undergone several changes ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season. Earlier this month, the team agreed to trade Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers, as they are set to receive wingman Brandon Ingram and guards Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart once the trade takes effect in July. The team will also be welcoming three first-round picks selected in this year’s draft — Duke forward Zion Williamson (No. 1), Texas center Jaxson Hayes (No. 8), and Virginia Tech guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17).

While the Pelicans will still be led in the 2019-20 season by veteran guard Jrue Holiday, it remains to be seen whether the organization will be able to re-sign forward/center Julius Randle — this could explain the team’s purported interest in Harris, who can play both forward positions. As noted by Yahoo Sports, the New York Knicks, in particular, have shown interest in the 24-year-old Randle, who will be entering unrestricted free agency for the second straight summer after enjoying a career year with the Pelicans in the 2018-19 season.