Tobias Harris and the Orlando Magic couldn’t come to terms on a contract extension before the Oct. 31 deadline to do so, so he will be a restricted free agent next summer.
Harris is on record as saying he wants to stay in Orlando, and the Magic can simply match any offer he receives to ensure that’s the case.
But Harris is from Long Island, and playing for the Knicks may be too tempting to try to pass up, should they come calling with a hefty offer sheet at the conclusion of this season.
“I’m telling you if the Knicks come at him hard, who wouldn’t want to play for their hometown team?” a Harris confidant told SNY.tv and The Knicks Blog.
The source pointed out that the 6-foot-9 Harris plays well alongside Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. The pair worked out together multiple times this summer at Terminal 23, Anthony’s midtown gym.
“They play well together,” the confidant said. “Carmelo always had him on his team when Kevin Durant came to town and they would win every game.”
There’s also the reported matter of Harris having an incentive in his Nike contract to play in a large market like New York, but even if that’s true, a player of Harris’ stature is unlikely to be materially affected by whatever bonus amount that may be; it would pale in comparison to a multi-year deal in the $8-$12 million per season range.
Harris is off to a strong start for the Magic this season, averaging career bests in points (17.5) and rebounds (8.8) while playing 37 minutes per contest.