Tobias Harris Rumors: Nets Have Interest in Star If They Don't Sign Kevin Durant

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJune 30, 2019

Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Milwaukee. The 76ers won 130-125. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets are reportedly among several potential suitors for Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris. 

SNY's Ian Begley reported Saturday evening that the Nets are expected to have interest in Harris, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent, if the team misses out on Kevin Durant

Begley had reported Friday that Brooklyn is not seen as the front-runner to land Durant, who declined his $31.5 million player option with the Golden State Warriors earlier this week to become an unrestricted free agent. However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are among four teams Durant plans to consider.

As for Harris, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Wednesday that the 26-year-old is expected to hold meetings with teams on both the East and West Coasts.

Even though Harris is believed to be a priority for the Sixers, Charania noted that the Los Angeles Clippers, Brooklyn, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings are expected to show interest.

Begley's intel on a potential pairing between Harris and Brooklyn came after Wojnarowski disclosed that the Nets and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving are "motivated" to move toward finalizing a four-year, $141 million deal once free agency officially begins Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Should Irving commit and Brooklyn renounce its qualifying offer to point guard D'Angelo Russell, as Wojnarowski expects, it will free up space for the Nets to sign a second max free agent, per Begley.

The Nets have long been pegged as preferring that second max player be Durant. 

However, according to Charania, Harris is also expected to command a max. And since the Sixers are reportedly offering him less than a max contract, per Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher, it opens the door for a team such as the Nets to pay more and secure his services.

Harris is entering free agency one summer after declining an $80 million extension from the Clippers, so it would stand to reason that he won't settle for less this time around, either. 

"One of the reasons why I turned down the extension was to be able to bet on yourself," Harris said, according to Forbes' Shlomo Sprung in an article published last week, "but also be able to have the opportunity to control whatever's to come.

"Obviously, I've been traded around, but at the same time, I know my game. I know what I bring to the table, and I know what I'm looking for as a player."

Harris went on to underline winning and star players as important factors in his upcoming decision. The Nets will help their case in that regard once Irving is officially inked, as the team is coming off its first postseason berth since 2014-15.

The Clippers traded Harris to Philly in February. Once becoming a Sixer, he averaged 18.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 27 regular-season games. Overall in 2018-19, Harris appeared in all 82 regular-season games and averaged 20 points, 7.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

In 12 postseason games with the Sixers, he averaged 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists.