Tobias Harris has been hot and cold over his Sixers’ career but the cold far outweighs the hot. Harris struggled mightily in the bubble last season and is off to another slow start this year.
You may ask, “why now when just last night Harris was a +32 against the Knicks?”
Well, simply put, +/- is a hollow stat, and it is incredibly challenging for any performance against the Knicks to instill reasonable confidence.
Regardless of last night’s game, Harris has proved to be consistently inconsistent which is a major issue, especially come playoff time. While Doc Rivers said he isn’t worried about Harris, Morey may feel differently.
Harris still has nearly $150 mil due over four years on the contract he signed in the 2019 offseason. The Sixers may find value in attempting to move off of that money to set their sights on some of the free agents in the deep 2021 class.
To be clear; Tobias Harris has value to certain teams. This is not an Al Horford case where they literally dump the salary for next to nothing.
Ideally, the Sixers are able to add a contributor on an expiring contract. The odds of that may not be great but it’s what they should be pushing for.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what a Tobias Harris “salary dump” could look like:
Kevin Comes To The City Of Brotherly Love
Cleveland Receives: Tobias Harris, Vincent Poirier
Philadelphia Receives: Kevin Love, Dylan Windler
Again, ideally, the Sixers trade Harris for an expiring contributor. That would be tough to finesse so the Sixers prioritize the contributor half here.
Kevin Love is not the player he once was. He is also somehow a worse defender than Tobias Harris. He is however, the shooter the Sixers thought they were getting when they traded for Harris.
Around Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Love could sit in the corner waiting for open opportunities or work the pick and pop game with Simmons or Shake Milton.
Along with Love, the Sixers would acquire Dylan Windler who is a young three-point specialist who could grow into the Furkan Korkmaz role if the Sixers decide to let him walk in free agency.
Meanwhile, the Cavs speed up their journey to the playoffs by adding a near 20 ppg scoring forward to fit next to Andre Drummond.
Tobias Harris Helps Bull’s Playoff Push
Chicago Receives: Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, & a 2021 second-round pick (from PHI via NYK)
Philadelphia Receives: Otto Porter Jr. & Thaddeus Young
While the Sixers will be hard-pressed to make a deal for a contributor on an expiring contract, they find just that in Otto Porter Jr. His stats don’t jump off the box score but his presence is felt as a prototypical 3/D defender.
As a combo-forward, Porter could slider into either start spot relegating either Seth Curry to the bench or filling the void left by Harris.
Thaddeus Young would also prove to be a valuable asset. A hardened veteran who can switch defensively, Young would be a part of the Sixers’ rotation both in the regular season and the playoffs.
In Harris, the Bulls find a reliable scorer who can either slide next to Lauri Markkanen or even take over his job if the team continues to move in a different direction.
Harris would also significantly improve a Bull’s offense that ranked 27th last season in points-per-game.
Sixers/Thunder Salary Dump Part Two
Charlotte Receives: Tobias Harris & Furkan Korkmaz
Oklahoma City Receives: Cody Zeller, Mike Scott, & a 2021 first-round pick (via PHI)
Philadelphia Receives: Terry Rozier, George Hill, & Trevor Ariza
Before the start of the season, the Sixers found a way to dump Al Horford’s salary on the Oklahoma City Thunder. Daryl Morey once again calls up Sam Presti, this time as the third team to facilitate the deal.
The Sixers still have a need for combo guards who can handle the ball and they add two in Terry Rozier and George Hill.
The Sixers could run a four “guard” lineup with Rozier, Hill, Green, & Simmons with Embiid down low. Moving Curry to the bench increases the starters’ defensive ability while moving the Sixers’ bench from top 10 to easily top 5.
The addition of Trevor Ariza adds a depth defender who could be helpful either at playoff time or at least helping Matisse Thybulle grow into the player that Philadelphia fans know he can be.
The Hornets are the team securing Harris’ services to help them secure their highly desired 8th seed in the playoffs. The Sixers essentially take advantage of Michael Jordan’s irrational rush to mediocrity.
For the Thunder, they turn another piece into another first-round pick. Sam Presti continues his trek to make all 30 selections in a single round.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire