When the talk of “what could happen to the 76ers if they lose in the second round to Toronto?” heats up, much of the focus is often on Jimmy Butler. He’s a max free agent this summer — even if teams are a little uneasy paying him that much over four or five years because of his age and injury history — and he will have options, from Los Angeles to Philadelphia. And other stops in between.
Tobias Harris can get overlooked in that, but he’s a free agent, too. And he’s going to get paid max or near-max money by somebody. The 76ers may have traded for Harris as Butler insurance, but Harris will have options, as Shams Charania of The Athletic noted.
Around the league, executives believe several other teams, such as Memphis, Utah, Dallas and Brooklyn, will also provide competition for Harris.
Harris is a borderline All-Star level player — he averaged 20 points a game, shot 39.7 percent from three, and pulled down 7.9 rebounds a night this season — who wants some stability after being on four teams in four years. He wants to be wanted, to be appreciated. Philly is trying to provide that, and show him how they can win with him (and how his role might grow if Butler bolts). However, it’s easy to see how he could fit on the wing as a second shot creator in Utah, how he could help lift a young team in Brooklyn, or how he could mesh smoothly with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in Dallas.
Philadelphia management has said the plan is to bring Butler and Harris back next season. Money will talk, but how this second round of the playoffs (and potentially beyond) goes will have an impact too. If the 76ers make Harris wait, he will have options.