Sixers trade rumors: Teams are “keeping an eye on” Tobias Harris

Note: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links, Schneps Media may earn a commission.
Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris reacts after making a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Ahead of the 2023-24 NBA trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76ers are expected to be active in trade talks. While most have expected those talks to revolve around players the Sixers are hoping to add, there is one Sixer who has caught the eye of multiple teams.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “a lot” of teams are “keeping an eye on” veteran forward Tobias Harris. The number of teams is ambiguous, as is the interest level, but it seems clear that there is at least some interest in Harris ahead of the deadline.

A two-way wing with size and impressive leadership skills, there’s a lot to like about Harris. Even in what would be considered a down season, Harris is averaging 16.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. Over his Sixers tenure, Harris has averaged 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.1 assists with shooting splits of 49.0/37.1/85.5 in that time.

The offensive production has been impressive and often consistent, but it’s the growth in Harris’ defensive ability that stands out. While he won’t be confused for a lock-down defender, Harris has turned himself into not only a capable defender but a plus defender. Taking the marquee wing assignment night in and night out, Harris has increasingly served the Sixers well in an area that was once a glaring weakness.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, right, drives with the ball as Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris, left, defends during the first half of Game 7 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series, Sunday, May 14, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Harris has also grown immensely as a leader in his time in Philadelphia, with coaches and his fellow players making a point of mentioning his character and leadership ability. It’s that ability, paired with his on-court versatility, that makes Harris so valuable, something the Sixers understand quite well.

Shams went on to state that Philadelphia is not actively looking to move one of their premier veterans, saying: “The Sixers want to keep him around. They know how important he is.”

Philadelphia 76ers’ Tobias Harris goes up for a shot during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Could that change between now and the deadline with the right offer on the table? Certainly, after all, the Sixers have involved Harris in previous trade conversations, but at this time, there are no active signs. Star Joel Embiid has also made a point of mentioning how much he values consistency. If they’re going to trade away a teammate he has spent so many years with, they have to be able to present a convincing pitch.

As far as the potential teams rumored to be interested in Harris, one may have already been identified in the Detroit Pistons, who are reportedly searching for two-way help on the wing. Tobias Harris can provide not only the assistance on the court the Pistons so desperately need but off the court as well, which is a far more dire need.

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) shoots over the defense of Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Harri is a clear fit with the young Pistons in that sense, certainly. However, it’s difficult to imagine a deal in which the Pistons send out players that interest the Sixers, though a potential scenario involving a salary dump to a third team remains a possibility.

There is still plenty of time between now and the deadline on Feb. 8. The Sixers are unlikely to rush into any moves, particularly involving a core piece, but that does not mean that a deal is fully off the table. As the days go by leading up to the deadline, there will likely be more and more smoke each day surrounding a potential Tobias Harris trade, but for now, that interest appears to be one-sided.