Tobias Harris Re-Signs with Magic: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 4, 2015

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The Orlando Magic have a lot of young, promising pieces on the roster, and they have to make a number of critical, tough decisions as they try to evolve into an Eastern Conference contender.

On Friday, Orlando elected to reward forward Tobias Harris with a four-year contract worth $64 million, per RealGM's Shams Charania. NBA.com's David Aldridge added that the deal would include no player, team or early-termination options.

Harris took to Instagram to express his happiness about returning to Orlando:

Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel also provided Harris' thoughts on the new deal:

“It’s still surreal for me. I just think back when I first came to the NBA, and I wanted to just really be here for more than four years. You know, that’s the average expectancy as an NBA player. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be in Orlando, to get an opportunity where I can showcase my game and be on a great team with great teammates and a great organization. So it’s a true blessing. It really is.”

Harris started his career with the Milwaukee Bucks before arriving in Orlando in his second season. The University of Tennessee product was one of six players involved in a trade centered around former Magic guard J.J. Redick.

The move has panned out rather nicely for the Magic, especially now that Harris is secured for the long haul.

Basketball Insiders' Steve Kyler felt Orlando would have been unwise to allow Harris to walk away as a restricted free agent:

Steve Kyler @stevekylerNBA

Maybe Tobias Harris -- but I still see the math Orlando has in front of them and think it would be foolish to pass https://t.co/FRAUoG0dbK

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Harris has excelled as a prominent part of the Magic's rotation, showing an ability to score the ball well in averaging 17.1 points per game in 68 games this past season. The 22-year-old's range extended to the three-point line with more consistency too, as he shot 36.4 percent from deep.

"For us, consistency is the biggest key," said Harris in May, per Fox Sports Florida's Ken Hornack. "We have to be mentally strong in games. We lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter that we should have won, where we were up in the fourth quarter. That has a lot to do with focus and being able to grind out wins."

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 10:  Tobias Harris #12 of the Orlando Magic goes up for a shot against the Toronto Raptors on April 10, 2015 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using th
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Harris now figures to be a franchise cornerstone along with Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic. It remains to be seen what the Magic have in point guard Elfrid Payton, rookie swingman Mario Hezonja and athletic forward Aaron Gordon.

The timetable for Orlando to begin its ascent in the East is difficult to determine. With so many inexperienced contributors playing big minutes, coaching from new boss Scott Skiles and chemistry will be big factors.

Robbins also provided Harris' thoughts on Skiles after pointing out that rumors have surfaced saying Harris was unhappy with the hiring of Orlando's new coach:

“First off, me and Scott have a great relationship. What people don’t understand is that when he first coached me, I was 18 years old. And from 18 to being about to turn 23 now, I’m a completely different player. Even in Milwaukee, where I didn’t play as much, we still had a great dialogue. He just wanted me to work harder. He just said, ‘Your time is coming.’ So he was always encouraging for me.

“Today, we communicated. He wants me to be a leader. He wants me to lead. He’s a fantastic coach. I think he’s the perfect coach for our team. Actually, I know he’s the perfect coach for our team. And he’s a coach I want to play for. He’s a fiery guy. He gets after you. He has that passion to win, that fire to win. Me and him, we have no problems. That passion, that’s the passion that I play with, so that’s what I love in a coach.”  

Those elements will also go a long way in deciding whether it was a wise move for Harris and the Magic to stay together.


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