The Sixers have a crucial offseason in front of them and Daryl Morey is wasting no time in making adjustments to his roster. Tobias Harris could well be on the move, per a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer, but where would be a good landing spot?
After finally putting an end to the Ben Simmons drama by flipping him for James Harden, the focus must turn to the complementary players. Harden was far from perfect in his half-season with the Sixers, but there seems little chance he does not return in 2022. The question seems more to do with what the price will be with recent reports indicating he may be leaning toward taking his $47.3 million player option.
This would be a hefty price tag for the 32-year-old and put the Sixers in a difficult spot. With such a large portion of the cap set to be reserved for Joel Embiid and James Harden, Daryl Morey will attempt to work the margins. While this should be no surprise, Keith Pompey recently leaked that the Sixers are open for business on the trade market.
The contract of Tobias Harris makes him essential to move this offseason. The 29-year-old has been a model teammate and citizen during his time in Philadelphia and should be remembered fondly. Harris played some of his most impactful basketball in the recent stretch of playoffs. He has seen his role shift greatly during the four seasons he has spent with the team and has done his best to adjust accordingly.
While he should be remembered fondly for his time with the Sixers, having such a high percentage of the salary cap tied to Tobias Harris is not a sustainable way to win. Harris is set to have a larger cap hit than even Joel Embiid next season. Getting off of the 2 years and roughly $77 million he has remaining on his deal would help the Sixers be much more flexible moving forward. While it is unlikely he is the most sought-after trade target, here are three trades that may get a deal done.
3 Trades Sixers Should Explore for Tobias Harris
Sixers Get: Josh Hart, Eric Bledsoe
Trail Blazers Get: Tobias Harris
The Trail Blazers are desperate to flip the switch into a championship contender with Dame Lillard’s prime quickly wasting away. While Tobias Harris is far from the missing piece, it is a step in the right direction. Flipping two underutilized role players for a legitimate starting forward would be a solid move for the Trail Blazers. Tobias Harris is not a perfect player but he would be the best complementary frontcourt player Lillard has played with since LaMarcus Aldridge.
For the Sixers, flipping Tobias Harris for two impact role players would be a great move. Josh Hart would be a terrific addition to the roster. The Villanova product is a solid three-point shooter and is a much more productive rebounder than you would expect from his 6’5″ height. Hart averaged 7.8 rebounds per game in the first half of the season with the Pelicans last season.
While Eric Bledsoe is not an ideal backup point guard, the athleticism he brings to the table would be a nice splash on the Sixers roster. Bledsoe is also in the final year of his contract so would provide some cap relief following the season if it does not work out. This may quickly be a position of need for the Sixers as they may not be interested in bringing back Shake Milton.
Sixers Get: Reggie Bullock, Davis Bertans, Maxi Kleber
Mavericks Get: Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle
As the Mavericks search for their missing pieces following their impressive run to the Western Conference Semifinals, the Sixers should hope Tobias Harris piques their interest. Harris showed impressive growth as a catch-and-shooter to end the season. If there is another player in the NBA with the level of passing creativity of James Harden, it is Luka Doncic. Harris also has an intriguing creation ability in the post which could be utilized greater in the Mavs offense. The Mavericks also struggled defensively this season. Matisse Thybulle would serve as the sweetener in the trade and hopefully be enough to get it done.
This collection of role players would be exactly what the Sixers are missing. Both Davis Bertans and Maxi Kleber would be seamless fits as a stretch forward next to Joel Embiid. Tobias Harris has not been able to fully fit this role in the way it was imagined but both Kleber and Bertans have more willing triggers.
Reggie Bullock would be an ideal wing to add to the Sixers. Bullock averaged 8.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists this season with the Mavs. He connected on 36% of his three-pointers at 5.8 attempts per game. The 31-year-old is a willing catch-and-shooter who does the work on the defensive end. Bullock would be a terrific 4th or 5th option in the Sixers starting lineup.
Sixers Get: John Collins, De’Andre Hunter
Hawks Get: Tobias Harris, 2023 2nd round pick
The Sixers have been connected to John Collins for quite some time. The Hawks forward has some similar concerns with his lack of shot creation and limited willingness to shoot three-pointers. However, he would be a terrific pairing with Joel Embiid due to his shot-blocking ability, rebounding, and athleticism. Having a guy to take some responsibility off of Embiid on the defensive end would help the superstar in a major way. The Hawks have been eager to move on from Collins in a similar way the Sixers seem to be with Tobias Harris. As the Hawks search for more offense, swapping the pair of bad contracts could serve to the Sixers’ benefit.
De’Andre Hunter also would be a terrific addition to the Sixers. The hard-nosed defender has intriguing upside and would make an impact right away. The 24-year-old has averaged over 12 points per game in all three seasons in the NBA. The Hawks do not seem to value him as highly as he should be and the Sixers should attempt to capitalize on this. Atlanta has claimed that Trae Young and Clint Capela are the only untouchable players and the Sixers should see how serious they are about this.
There was a point in time when Tobias Harris was regarded as one of the worst contracts in professional sports. While his price tag may still be a little high, the two years remaining makes him a much more tolerable target. When comparing him to guys like Russell Westbrook or John Wall, Harris looks like much more of a plus asset. Flipping Harris for some key role players would benefit the Sixers in a major way. Getting off of Harris’ contract is the first major step to flexibility in the Sixers’ finances and expect Morey to make this a main priority.
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