Trading for James Harden at the trade deadline this past season and Joel Embiid putting up MVP-like numbers gave the Philadelphia 76ers and their fan base high hopes for a championship.
After beating the Toronto Raptors in the first-round of the playoffs, the 76ers were unable to advance past the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals due to Embiid dealing with multiple injuries and Harden really struggling to find any production on the offensive-end of the floor.
On the brink of making the Eastern Conference Finals, the Sixers lost in the semifinals for the sixth consecutive time since they last made the Eastern Conference Finals and NBA Finals in 2001.
While they are certainly one of the better teams in the league, Philadelphia is exploring all options presented to them this offseason and according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the team is gauging trade interest in Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Danny Green and Tobias Harris.
Joining the team during the 2018-19 season from the Los Angeles Clippers, Harris has averaged 18.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and has shot 48.5% from the floor, 36.7% from three-point range in a Sixers’ jersey.
Having two years left on his contract valued at about $76.9 million, it makes sense that Philadelphia would want to potentially move on from Harris’ contract, especially given that James Harden is entering the final year of his deal.
Should the 76ers actually be interested in moving on from Tobias Harris this offseason, there could be a handful of teams interested in adding him as a secondary star and scorer on the wing.
Looking to end their playoff drought that has been around since 2006, the Sacramento Kings and GM Monte McNair seem to be highly motivated in finding a “third star” to pair with Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox this offseason.
Believe it or not, the Kings are not far off from being a low-end playoff team in the Western Conference and trading for Tobias Harris could absolutely give them the firepower they need to make a real playoff push for once.
Harris is not the best talent they could land, nor is his contract favorable, but paying him may just be worthwhile if it means seeing their team in the postseason.
However, Philadelphia is going to want “win-now” talent in return for Tobias Harris in any trade around the league, something the Kings may not be able to give them.
Harrison Barnes and Justin Holiday could be two veterans the 76ers would consider, especially since they are on expiring contracts and could save the team a lot of money by replacing Tobias Harris, but the value from the Kings just is not there unless they were to attach their No. 4 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft in a deal for Harris.
The Kings are going to make a move sooner and later and currently being about $15 million under the projected salary cap for the 2022-23 season, Sacramento would have no problem taking on Harris’ large contract.
Portland Trail Blazers
Another team looking to acquire “win-now” assets is the Portland Trail Blazers, who are looking to get back to the playoffs right away and prove to Damian Lillard that they can contend in the Western Conference.
There have been some question marks in regards to Lillard’s long-term future in Portland and while he has stated multiple times that he wants to win with the Trail Blazers, he may have a change of heart should the team once again fail to make the postseason.
Re-signing Anfernee Simons is high on the list of things to do this offseason for newly appointed GM Joe Cronin, as is getting Lillard more help, specifically on the wing.
The Blazers are shopping their No. 7 overall pick in next week’s draft and in doing so, they are looking to bring in a difference-maker that can be a solid secondary contributor next to Lillard.
Tobias Harris could absolutely be this kind of player for the Trail Blazers and fill an immediate void they have at the forward positions. However, his salary is a concern for the Blazers, especially since Simons is going to demand a good chunk of cash, as will pending free agent Jusuf Nurkic.
Portland has plenty of funds to play around with should they choose to do so, but coming off a year in which they failed to make the playoffs, it is hard to believe that this franchise will want to be a tax-paying team right away.
Tobias Harris is certainly a trade option for the Trail Blazers, but his salary once again seems to be a problem in terms of Portland potentially trading for him.
Trae Young needs help in Atlanta and heading into the offseason, it seems like the Atlanta Hawks are open for business.
Not only are Bogdan Bogdanovic and Danilo Gallinari said to be available in trade talks, but forward John Collins is also rumored to be on the trade block, leaving all options open for this organization.
Back in January, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto said that the 76ers and Hawks “briefly kicked around” a scenario in which Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris would go to Atlanta in a package that revolved around John Collins, Danilo Gallinari and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Talks apparently stalled very quickly though, as Atlanta did not want to take in Harris’ bad contract.
Not having interest in Harris could still exist to this day for the Hawks, but he is certainly an option for them to trade for this offseason given their need for a secondary contributor and scorer.
For his career, Tobias Harris has proven to be a better weapon than John Collins and now, with Collins being brought up in trade talks, maybe it is the best time for the Hawks to just take what they can get and bring in Harris.
Ultimately, this is a major long-shot to happen, but the Hawks want to make changes, they need to make changes and Tobias Harris presents a path to change for this organization.
With trade rumors swirling around the Minnesota Timberwolves and D’Angelo Russell, the Timberwolves could wind up being a pretty active team this offseason.
Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards are a very strong “one-two punch” in this league right now and with Minnesota looking to gather pieces to win in the postseason right now, moving D’Angelo Russell either to Philadelphia for Tobias Harris straight up or acquiring Harris via a multi-team trade involving Russell could make a little bit of sense.
Harris would slide into a pivotal role out on the wing in Minnesota and their need for a third scoring weapon is very clear given that Russell has underperformed at times.
Much like a few of the other scenarios outlined above, it is a long-shot to believe that the Timberwolves would be interested in Tobias Harris’ large contract, but he is a proven scorer that they could bring in if they were to trade D’Angelo Russell, especially since Russell’s contract would offset that of Harris’.
Owning the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft, the Timberwolves could easily look to replace Russell’s production in the backcourt with another young piece and the team is very high on third-year guard Jaylen Nowell, who has continued to progress as a combo-guard each year he has been with the team.
D’Angelo Russell’s future in Minnesota is bleak right now this offseason and should they look to replace his production right away, Tobias Harris is not a bad choice for the Timberwolves whatsoever from a talent perspective.
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