Tobias Harris Rumors: Nets 'Strong Destination' for 76ers' Free-Agent Forward

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris speaks with members of the media during a news conference at the NBA basketball team's practice facility in Camden, N.J., Monday, May 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets have reportedly emerged as a "strong destination" for free-agent forward Tobias Harris.

Ian Begley of SNY.tv reported Brooklyn is among the contenders for Harris, who was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers at the 2019 trade deadline. He could sign a five-year contract worth $190 million to stay in Philadelphia.

The Nets and all other suitors can only sign Harris to a four-year contract worth around $140 million.

Harris finished the season averaging a career-high 20.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists on 48.7 percent shooting, including a 39.7 percent clip from beyond the arc. The Sixers are expected to pursue re-signing Harris this summer, though it's unclear if they will offer a max contract.

"There's only so many players that are super stable in the NBA, let's just be upfront with that," Harris told reporters about his impending free agency. "For me honestly, style of play is a huge thing. Culture. A chance to be able to win. Just being in the playoffs here and getting that feeling and seeing how bad that loss (to the Raptors) felt."

The Sixers are also hoping to re-sign Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick, who are also free agents this summer. Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jonathon Simmons and Zhaire Smith are the only players on the Sixers roster who are under contract for 2019-2020. Their easiest path to championship contention would be retaining Harris, Butler and Redick and then finding additional role players in the mid-level or minimum-contract market.

The Sixers' biggest problem was depth last season, so filling out the bench could be the difference between title contention and continued second-round exits.

Brooklyn is coming off a playoff season and could use Harris' scoring ability on the wing. Harris could be an interesting backup plan to pursuits of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in free agency, though the Sixers could nix all of this by being aggressive retaining their stars.

Harris will probably find his market among teams that are not actively pursuing any of the bigger-named free agents.

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