Will the Sixers Say Goodbye to Tobias Harris?


“Run it Back” is a term the city of Philadelphia has been using in an effort to bringing the band back together after being eliminated by the Toronto Raptors in the second round of this year’s playoffs.  After the Sixers acquired Tobias Harris from the Clippers just before the trade deadline, it seemed as though the Sixers had their golden ticket to the NBA Finals. Instead, Toronto ended that narrative. It could have been the Sixers in the finals against Golden State, but should’ve, could’ve and would’ve does not prove anything in professional sports.

The trade had Philly on the edge of their seats.  Sixers GM Elton Brand made a “now or never” move in acquiring Harris, sacrificing key role players in the process. Harris would go for 15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.1 steals over 36.9 minutes per game this postseason, somewhat of a step down from his near-21 PPG average (career-high) in the regular season.  He was still a big contribution to the Sixers this season, however. He has always been able to create his own shot, connecting on a tick under 40% of heaves from behind the arc.

Philly may very well have to offer Tobias Harris a max contract in order to keep him.  It looks as though the Brooklyn Nets are the possible frontrunner to sign Harris, as they have “mutual interest”, reports say. Brooklyn has an up-and-coming young team that could benefit from the acquisition of Harris.  He would definitely be the face of Brooklyn’s franchise.


With Tobias and Jimmy Butler in the free agency portal, the Sixers have a difficult decision; re-sign one, both or neither.  Being unrestricted free agents, the power is entirely out of Philly’s hands. Jimmy Butler declined his $19.8M player option last week, officially making him an unrestricted free agent but eligible to receive a max deal from Philly.

Untapped Potential?

We all know what Jimmy Butler is capable of, but we can’t say the same about Tobias.  At just 26 years old, he’s just beginning to enter his prime. Exceeding greater heights than where he is right now is very attainable. He was arguably snubbed from an all-star roster spot this season. If the Sixers had Harris for a full season, he could very well have been a lock for his first ever all-star campaign.

The Sixers need Tobias or someone Tobias-like; they need someone who can shoot the ball and will give an advantage on the offensive side. The Sixers are possibly losing 10 players to free agency– that’s more than half the roster. As nice as it would be to retain both Butler and Harris, it’s unlikely. The 2019 NBA free agency period begins Sunday, June 30th at 6 PM ET.


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