Tobias Harris Returns to the 76ers
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What's the deal?
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Tobias Harris has agreed to a five-year, $180 million contract to stay with the Philadelphia 76ers. After acquiring Harris at last February's trade deadline, the 76ers liked enough of what they saw to bring him back on a long-term deal.
What does Harris bring to the team?
Harris is an excellent complementary player around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons; he doesn’t require the ball in his hands that much and is better-suited attacking a collapsed defense. Though his percentage dropped after being traded to the Sixers, Harris is still a good 3-point shooter that can space the floor for Embiid and Simmons. He also has all the tools to be an elite defender. At age 26, there’s still some room for him to continue to improve and his timeline fits Embiid and Simmons’. While Harris isn’t much of a leader, he also doesn’t seem to cause issues for others and is a well-loved teammate.
What does this move mean for the 76ers?
For the Sixers, this means they’ll come back next season ready to contend for a title once again and for years to come. Between Harris and Jimmy Butler, Harris was always the one that seemed to fit into the long-term plan better due to his age. Now, the 76ers will have a big three for the next few years, big four if you count they just signed Al Horford, big five if you want to include Josh Richardson. Their ceiling is the first seed in the East and a title, no question about it.
How would you grade this contract?
Despite all the positives, I still give the contract itself a B+. Harris is arguably a max-level player, but the main concern was his lackluster playoff performance. During the Raptors series, it was Jimmy Butler and not Tobias Harris that stepped up to keep that series going. With Butler gone, the Sixers can’t afford to have Harris not show up for the playoffs. Additionally, the size and length of the contract mean they’re tied to Harris for good or bad. Should Harris have a habit of disappearing in the playoffs, he could end up being the limiter on a Sixers championship run. Harris has done enough to warrant max money, hence the B+, but still needs to show he can help Philadelphia in the playoffs.
Overall, this is still a great signing for the 76ers. Harris is an All-Star level player that can help shoulder the burden on Joel Embiid so he can focus on staying healthy for the playoffs. He complements the other stars’ games well and defends at a high enough level. With him, the 76ers should be title contenders for the next few years, which alone makes it well worth it.