Is $80 million enough for Tobias Harris? Tobias Harris certainly doesn’t think so.
The lengthy Los Angeles Clippers forward is just 26 years old, and is in line for not one but probably two more significant contracts. That being said, according to a report from TNT’s David Aldridge, Harris recently turned down an extension offer from the Clippers in the area of four years, $80 million.
That reported number would have been a significant increase over the contract Harris signed with the Orlando Magic back in 2015. That deal was for four years and $64 million, but it appears that Harris is biding his time and waiting for the summer of 2019 when more teams have cap space.
Harris turning down this extension sort of leans into something I’ve been mentioning lately, and that is that some of these mid-range or cusp-level stars might end up taking less than they expect while waiting for 2019.
Yes, there is cap space to be had next summer. But there’s not an unlimited amount, and I believe that many GMs will be reticent to spend money the way they did a couple of years ago after the cap spiked. Teams handed out some crazy contracts in 2016, and several GMs will have learned their lesson.
Eighty million dollars is completely reasonable for Harris, so it seems he is either wanting more cash or perhaps he wants a change of scenery. What LAC reportedly offered Harris was an extension, and now it appears he will head straight into unrestricted free agency.
Harris is still young, and he is a good 3-point shooter. He shot 41.4 percent from deep for the Clippers last season, and he has the ability to play several positions. It’s possible that a team who wants to move into the modern, small ball type of play we’ve seen over the last couple years steps up with a big offer.
The question is who that might be.
The Clippers liked Montrezl Harrell last season (he came from Houston in the Chris Paul trade), he averaged 11 points a game for the team with a very efficient PER of 24.7.
He was one restricted agent some around the league thought another team would try to poach, but in a tight market nobody was making an offer because the Clippers were just expected to match. So the Clippers and Harrell (and his agent) sat down and figured out something that worked for both sides, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
The deal is fully guaranteed for both years, according to the report. That’s a fair price for his services, and Harrell gets back on the market in two years when the salary cap will have gone up by more than $15 million (at least by the NBA’s early predictions). He will have more options on 2020.
The Clippers are now just $500 below the luxury tax. They also have 16 contracts, which is bad news for C.J. Wilson and his non-guaranteed deal. (Technically Patrick Beverley has a non-guaranteed contract as well, but if healthy he will be back.)
For a couple of seasons, this is a good fit. Harrell will bring some athleticism and bounce to a frontcourt rotation that already includes Tobias Harris, Luc Mbah a Moute, Marcin Gortat, and Boban Marjanovic. The Clippers are a pretty good team, the problem is in the West pretty good could be the 10 or 11 seed. The conference is that deep and brutal.
Houston’s defense got a little worse.
Last season they leaned on the versatility and switchability of Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute on the wings to counter teams such as the Warriors. In the opening hours of free agency, Ariza grabbed the cash — $15 million worth — and signed with the Phoenix Suns.
Now Mbah-a-Moute is gone, too. He’s going back to the Clippers reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Carmelo Anthony signing with the Rockets is almost a certainty at this point.
The Rockets defense was 4.3 points per 100 possessions better last season when Mbah a Moute was on the court. He also shot 36.4 percent from three on his way to 7.5 points a night, although he did miss 21 regular season games plus some of the playoffs due to injury. He was a good fit as a role player on a contender.
He will be tough to replace.
As for the Clippers, they have some potential at the forward spot. Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris will start, with Mbah a Moute, Montrezl Harrell (once he is re-signed), Wes Johnson, and Sam Dekker off the bench. Overall the Clippers have a roster that can compete for a playoff spot, but it needs to stay healthy (something they could not do last season), and even then it will not be easy in the ring of fire that is the Western Conference.
The Wizards keep seeing their bigs go to the Clippers.
First, Washington traded Marcin Gortat to L.A. Now, Mike Scott is following.
The Wizards are rebounding with Thomas Bryant from Los Angeles (though the Lakers).
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Clippers have a pair of better combo forwards in Tobias Harris and Danilo Gallinari, but Scott should figure into the rotation as a stretch four. He revived his career in Washington last year. I’m curious how much he’ll earn.
Bryant will count less toward the luxury tax if he sticks. His salary is still unguaranteed for a few more days, but he hasn’t proven he belongs on an NBA team. If the Wizards keep him, it’s on a flier.
The Los Angeles Clippers were trying to make a deal in the days leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft for the Nos. 12 and 13 overall picks.
On Thursday, the Clippers finally pulled the trigger.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Los Angeles will send the 12th pick and two second-rounders to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Gilgeous-Alexander was selected with the 11th pick by Charlotte just moments before we got wind of the trade via social media. Meanwhile, the Clippers selected Miles Bridges with the 12th pick and will ship him to North Carolina.
Gilgeous-Alexander is a 6.6 guard who played one year for the Kentucky Wildcats under coach John Calipari. Gilgeous-Alexander averaged 14.4 points and 5.1 assists for UK last season, and will be part of an effort to perhaps bolster Charlotte in the event Kemba Walker is traded or leaves after his contract ends in 2018-19.
Bridges was a two-year starter at Michigan State for Tom Izzo, scoring 17.1 points per game as a sophomore while adding seven rebounds and 2.7 assists. He measures 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds, and there’s lots of guard minutes that are up in the air in LA. This Clippers squad also has Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris filling wing-type roles, where we could see Bridges get minutes as Doc Rivers plays with his rotation.
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