The Sixers should extend Tobias Harris when the time comes

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris reacts after a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors, Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Tobias Harris has had a very confusing time as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers. First, the Sixers traded a highly coveted Heat pick (which ended up being the 18th pick of the 2021 draft), Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, and Landry Shamet for the borderline All-Star.

Then, the Sixers chose to give him a 5-year, $180 million deal and let Jimmy Butler walk. He has gone from underwhelming star to overpaid roleplayer, to borderline All-Star time and time again, yet most haven’t accepted the reality of the situation yet. Tobias Harris is a good player and we should resign him after this contract.

While some fans can’t get over how much we pay Tobias, his contract often overshadows how good he is for this Sixers team. The often-overlooked Harris has come into his own this season as a catch-and-shoot threat with plenty of shot creation. Tobias is shooting an outstanding 42.0% from beyond the arc this season. That mark is a career-high.

Harris is also chucking up 5.5 threes per game, the second most in his career. While his scoring totals may be down compared to what we have been used to, averaging 17.1 points per game, he is playing incredible basketball. Beyond just an improved efficiency, Tobias has also adapted his playstyle to better fit the current-era Sixers.

This year we have seen Tobias embrace Moreyball. Moreyball is a type of playstyle that focuses on three-pointers and close shots. It became famous in Houston under the Sixers’ current President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey. Tobias Harris appears to have firmly adopted Moreyball as his in-game mentality. This season, over 40% of Tobias’s shots have been from deep. Over 45% of his shots have come from less than 10 feet from the basket. This is showing his ability to adapt for the 76ers to fit their needs. The old Tobias Harris loved contested mid-range jumpers. Now midrange shots account for less than 15% of his shots.

Tobias is showing everyone that he is more than just an overpaid roleplayer. This improved shot selection and efficiency has been essential to the Sixers’ championship aspirations. Despite his numbers being down, his combination of being able to adapt, and his incredible leadership skills have proven his value to this Sixers team. Combine that with both his efficiency and volume continuing to be on the rise, and it’s easy to see why the Sixers would want to extend him.