Report: Tobias Harris won’t sign contract extension, would get Nike bonus by playing in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles
The Magic have already signed Nikola Vucevic to a rookie-scale contract extension.
How about one of their extension-eligible fourth-year players?
Tobias Harris said he wants to remain in Orlando, but there could be complications.
Chris Broussard of ESPN:
Keep eye on Tobias Harris. Won't sign ext w/Orlando b4 10/31. Restricted FA next summer. Nike deal gives him upgrade if he in LA, NY or CHI— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) October 24, 2014
Key question: How long does Harris’ Nike contract run? How much more does it pay him to play in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles?
If he doesn’t sign an extension with the Magic, Harris will be a restricted free agent after the season, meaning they can match any offer he receives. So even if the Knicks, Bulls, Lakers or Clippers want him and signs him to an offer sheet, Orlando could match it – and, presumably, prevent him from getting the Nike bonus.
If Harris’ Nike contract runs through 2016-17 and his big-city raise is high enough, maybe he’d consider taking his qualifying offer and becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2016 – right when the new national TV deals are set to lift the salary cap. Then, he’d have more control over getting to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles – though a team in one of those cities would still have to sign him.
Of course, this could all be a negotiating ploy. Who outside of Harris’ camp would have access to his Nike contract with the incentive to leak the details? Maybe someone fed Broussard the information in order to persuade the Magic to make a better extension offer (which would raise questions about the accuracy of the report). After all, Harris is on record saying he wants to stay in Orlando.