76ers Stay or Go: The Writing is On the Wall for Tobias Harris’ Tenure in Philadelphia

76ers Stay or Go: The Writing is On the Wall for Tobias Harris’ Tenure in Philadelphia Apr 9, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris (12) dribbles the ball against the Detroit Pistons during the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers’ roster is likely to undergo another revamp during this offseason. Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey are the only two players locked in to be on the roster at the beginning of the 2024-25 season. The Sixers have decisions to make about the future of 13 players from their 2023-24 roster. They are likely to possess roughly $60 million in salary cap space heading into free agency this summer.

In the first installment of the “76ers Stay or Go” series, let’s discuss Tobias Harris’ time in Philadelphia and whether or not the team should be interested in re-signing him this offseason.

Harris’ time with the Sixers did not work out the way many expected it to. He originally came to Philadelphia in 2019 through a mid-season trade with the Los Angeles Clippers. The 26-year-old forward was in the midst of a career year, averaging 20.9 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 43.4% from beyond the arc. The belief was he would become a key piece to a roster that would routinely be a championship contender.

After finishing out the 2018-19 season with the Sixers, Harris signed a five-year, $180 million contract to remain in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, Harris never really lived up to the mammoth contract he signed that offseason. He played in 378 games as a member of the Sixers, averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. On the surface, those numbers appear to be serviceable for a second or third scoring option. However, when digging deeper problems begin to arise.

The Sixers needed to surround Embiid with as many shooters as possible. Harris, upon arriving in Philadelphia, appeared to be up to the task. However, his 3-point shooting numbers either in efficiency or volume in his five full seasons with the Sixers. Harris also lacked the necessary aggressiveness to be a consistent, effective scorer. While his role offensively did change throughout his time in Philadelphia, Harris never seemed to be able to consistently excel as a scorer. He had far too many games in recent seasons where he all but disappeared from the stat sheet.

Harris rebounded from a disastrous 2022-23 campaign to average 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest this season. However, he still had far too many moments where he failed to step up when the Sixers needed him most. One example this season came when Embiid missed two months with a meniscus injury. In 23 games during that crucial stretch with Embiid out of the lineup, Harris averaged 16.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per contest. He failed to even break 10 points in four of those games.

His tenure in Philadelphia wrapped up with a poetic ending. Harris averaged a meager 9.0 points on 43.1% shooting in the Sixers’ first-round series loss to the New York Knicks. He scored more than 10 points in just one game in that series. With the Sixers’ season on the line, Harris went scoreless in a 118-115 loss in Game 6.

Harris failed to live up to the mammoth contract he signed with the Sixers back in the 2019 offseason. His inconsistent scoring, lack of aggression and failure to show up in the big moments will define his tenure in Philadelphia. His five-year contract has expired. All signs are pointing towards Harris signing elsewhere this offseason. With his nearly $40 million contract off the books, the Sixers have a ton of flexibility to improve the roster either through free agency or trades. Multiple reports indicate the Sixers are looking to add a third star to the roster, which would certainly indicate Harris’ time in Philadelphia has come to a close.

Go to top button