Storyline: Tobias Harris Free Agency

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The Knicks are not expected to chase after top-of-the-market free agents, though some, like Kemba Walker and Nikola Vucevic reportedly already have agreements in place. They never showed enough interest in Tobias Harris be considered for a meeting with him, a league source told The Athletic. They are expected to shift their focus to short-term deals to improve a barren roster and attempt to be more competitive in 2019-20, without compromising their cap room in the long-term.

The Nets are expected to meet with free agent forward Tobias Harris and also have DeAndre Jordan and Justin Holiday among the free agents on their radar, league sources told The Athletic. Harris embodies everything the Brooklyn Nets desire on and off the court. The Long Island native is a multi-positional player who can score in pick-and-roll sets and spread the floor on offense. On defense, he’s an above-average rebounder. In the locker room, Harris is coachable and has adapted to several roles while playing for five teams in his eight-year career. He comes in early and stays late in the gym.

The Dallas Mavericks are among a handful of summer suitors who are interested in forward Tobias Harris — but at a rate below his max, two NBA sources tell DallasBasketball.com. Additionally, the sources say his present employer, the Philadelphia Sixers, are confident they will retain the much-traveled Harris, who this year averaged 20 points and 7.9 boards in the regular season, both career-highs, shot 39.7 from 3-point range and served as a go-to guy on a contending Sixers team.

The Nets and free agent forward Tobias Harris have mutual free agent interest in each other, league sources told The Athletic. Harris represents a fit at power forward, where Brooklyn shuffled four players last season. Harris, who turns 27 on July 15, fits the age trajectory of Brooklyn’s young core, provides offensive versatility as a playmaking four in pick-and-roll sets and as a shooter, and fits Brooklyn’s culture as a well-regarded teammate over his career.

Tobias Harris an option for Utah?

Does this mean the Jazz are likely to lure an impact player? That remains to be seen. But, it does mean they at least have a fighting chance. One player who has interest, according to sources: Tobias Harris. Harris is a 6-foot-9 combination forward who currently plays in Philadelphia. He’s someone who is dynamic on or off the basketball. He can shoot from the perimeter. He can score in a variety of ways. The Sixers hold his Bird Rights and can offer him a full five-year max contract. But, if they don’t, and Harris looks around, the Jazz would have at least a fighting chance, league sources tell The Athletic.

One source close to Harris’ camp explained how Tobias likes his role in Philadelphia, but the idea of returning home is something he will likely consider this summer. Other names have been mentioned, such as Jimmy Butler, who put the Nets atop his list of destinations when demanding a trade out of Minnesota. Similar to Tobias, a source close to Kemba Walker said the star point guard is intrigued by the idea of coming back to play in his home state — including both the Knicks and Nets.

Josh Harris told us last week that the Sixers want to keep both Tobias Harris and Butler because players of that caliber are difficult to acquire. He’s right. The franchise learned that difficult lesson last offseason when they had oodles of cap space but no high-level free agents to ladle it out to. Retaining Harris and Butler would zoom them deep into the luxury tax for the foreseeable future and handicap how the Sixers can fill out the rest of the roster—especially because Simmons will soon be in line to sign an extension. That would be a lot of money wrapped up in four players. “We get it,” Harris stipulated. “It’s expensive.”

I know there was a feeling for you that you wanted to win in L.A. And now you’re here. Does the mindset carry over to staying with this current organization — and trying to win? Tobias Harris: It would be selfish of me to not come into this situation with an open mind to make this work for the long-term. That’s where my mindset is at. I’m a loyal guy to where I am, and if I feel that loyalty back, that is how I operate. For me, it’s just making it work here and figuring out how it will go. So far, it’s been really good. Gotta show that loyalty.

In a contract season, the Long Island native admitted he’s heard from Clippers fans and opposing fans regarding free agency at games. However, earning a maximum contract isn’t what’s motivating him to reach new heights in his game this season. “I think it’s more motivation just on myself of trying to really unlock another level of my own play and try to help our team get to the playoffs,” Harris said. “That’s where I put all my motivation. I don’t worry about what’s to come in the future. Honestly, I just worry about pretty much the present moment and how I can help our team. I’ve been a free agent before, and I took the same approach, and I felt a good rhythm when I focused on the team and focused on winning and focused on controlling how I could get better every single day, and that’s how I approach everything I do.”

That is why when the Clippers approached Harris with a four-year, $80 million extension in late July, he and his father had to think long and hard about accepting the deal. This was the type of long-term investment they had been looking for since Harris entered the league. The Clippers have been deliberately calculated with their long-term spending since last summer, saving cap space for the 2019 offseason and potentially even 2020. But the franchise decided that offering Harris a contract with an annual value of $20 million per season — which would be a sizable hit to their cap space — was a worthy investment. It’s All-Star-level money for a player that has yet to make an All-Star team.

“For myself and my representation, we looked at it. We did really process it to make that decision,” Harris said. “At the end of the day, it is $80 million. But for me, it’s more of going out and earning what my value is. It has nothing to do with me figuring out what the Clippers are doing or things like that. “No, I love the whole organization. I love the team. I hope this relationship that we have is long-lasting. But it’s more of just on myself as a player, just pushing myself to see where I’m at at the end of the year. And we’ll go from there. That’s where it was. Both sides, we talked about it and both sides had really good dialogue on that. So it wasn’t nothing. We really were thankful that offer was there.”

“I’m happy and excited,” Harris told the Orlando Sentinel late Friday night from his family’s home on Long Island. “It’s still surreal for me. I just think back when I first came to the NBA, and I wanted to just really be here for more than four years. You know, that’s the average expectancy as an NBA player. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be in Orlando, to get an opportunity where I can showcase my game and be on a great team with great teammates and a great organization. So it’s a true blessing. It really is.”
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September 20, 2019 | 7:54 am EDT Update

Klay Thompson plans to play in 2020 Olympics

The 2014 World Cup was memorable for Curry and Thompson because they bonded off the court in Spain, something they don’t get to do much normally. Thompson said it would be a dream to share a backcourt with Curry in Tokyo. “That would be amazing,” Thompson said. “Amazing. Because even when we played in the World Championships together, we were barely on the floor together.” Thompson is the latest star to express a desire to play in the Olympics, joining Curry and Damian Lillard.
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Despite their intentions, Curry and Thompson playing in the Olympics can’t be considered a lock. If the Warriors somehow went on a deep run into the postseason, it would be their sixth straight year doing so. Turning around and going to Japan to play more might be untenable. Thus, an early postseason exit might be required for their hopes to be fulfilled. Plus, Thompson’s availability will be contingent upon his recovery from a torn ACL.
One former Eastern Conference general manager that spoke to HoopsHype believes Siakam has a strong case to earn a max extension this summer. “Siakam has a legit case for a max,” he said. “Would I give the max to any of the other players up for extensions? Hell no. I consider these factors: whether the player has an impact on winning, whether he is a great fit for our culture, whether he still has room for growth and whether he can be the best player on a championship-caliber team.”
A Western Conference coach agreed: “With Toronto in the situation that they’re in, no longer having Kawhi Leonard or Danny Green, Pascal Siakam may be a safe bet for them and they may want to give him a max extension to lock him up. I’ve been impressed with his development; he’s improved into a highly, highly serviceable player who’s very efficient and does a lot for that team. From the outside looking in, it seems like he’ll be able to continue his development too. He seems highly motivated and very grateful to be in the situation he’s in and he doesn’t take anything for granted.”
Another Western Conference executive agreed that he’s not worth the max, telling HoopsHype: “Out of Pascal Siakam, Jaylen Brown, Brandon Ingram and Buddy Hield, , I don’t think any of them will get the max or deserve the max. If I was running each team, I would force them to play it out. In some situations, keeping their cap holds is so much more beneficial. You should only extend if you get a below-market-value deal or if it’s a no-brainer extension.”
Q: P.J. Tucker has said he would seek a contract extension but has two seasons remaining on his contract. Assuming agreement on the terms, would that make sense to have his contract line up with the rest of your core players? Or could you just guarantee the second year and deal with it with one season left as you did with Eric Gordon? Daryl Morey: We’re open to the concept of extensions early. We have done it with players in the past. Normally, it’s the James Harden type players. We’re open to it. That said, I have found you don’t really get to an agreement with what both sides are looking at to how the extension can work realistically until you are one year out. I wouldn’t expect any other extension from us this year, mostly because everyone is signed for multiple years.