76ers

Tobias Harris is going to get paid in free agency and Sixers should be the team to pay up

Tobias Harris is going to get paid in free agency and Sixers should be the team to pay up

Tobias Harris is going to get paid this summer.

It won’t be for 13 years and $330 million, but it’ll be the maximum the NBA will allow. That number with the Sixers would be for five years and $188 million. Anywhere else: Four years and $145 million.

That would seem to put the Sixers in an advantageous situation — one they should capitalize on as soon as possible.

You normally don’t pay a hefty down payment just to test drive a car, but Elton Brand did so in acquiring Harris from the Clippers. With what he’s seen from Harris so far, you’d think there won’t be any haggling over price.

Harris has been ever better than advertised since joining the Sixers. He’s averaging 21.7 points and shooting 52 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. More importantly, his assimilation has been without any hiccups.

Unlike with Jimmy Butler — who’s actually fit in better with the acquisition of Harris — Harris has stepped right in and found his role offensively. His elite shooting has opened up the floor for everyone. His ability to pull the ball off the rim and go gives the Sixers two players over 6-foot-9 that can do so, making them a nightmare in transition.

All this and we haven’t even seen what Harris can do when his number is actually called regularly, something Brett Brown admitted hasn’t quite happened yet.

I hope he’s a Philadelphia 76er for a long time,” Brown said after practice Monday. “Go back to the adage that energy finds the ball first. I don’t call his number a bunch — and I will as this thing starts to heat up — and he still finds a way to impact and put his thumbprint on a score sheet.

Of course, it takes two to tango, but when you look at Harris’ situation, Philadelphia just makes too much sense. 

He’s just 26 — the same age as a certain new Phillies slugger — but is already on his fifth NBA team. The Sixers can offer him the biggest deal and the best chance to win. 

The fact that the Sixers have made him feel wanted since the moment he arrived hasn’t been lost on him either. He said as much during his introductory press conference.

So far, Brown and the team has done its part.

“I like it here,” Harris said. “It’s a good group of guys and a team that has a lot of potential. Coach has been great for me. He’s a great coach in terms of offensive mind and how to play and defensively how to get us going too. He’s a great coach to be around, so I’m happy.”

Harris bet on himself, turning down a four-year, $80 million deal last summer. It’s looking like that was a smart bet. But if you’ve seen how much he’s improved his game, it was a no-brainer.

The scariest thing about Harris is that he may just be scratching the surface. From 2012-2017, Harris shot 33 percent from three. He’s over 42 percent the last two seasons. He went from a below average shooter to one of the most elite shooters in the game. He’s just entering his prime and has proven he’s not afraid to work on his craft. 

Maybe the Sixers re-sign Butler, which would be a good move. Maybe they don’t.

But Brand better take a cue from Matt Klentak and seal the deal with Harris — though the wait won’t be nearly as long.

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Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

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NBC Sports Philadelphia/YouTube

Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick go back and forth about JJ Redick's comments about the importance of team dinners, five Sixers landing on SI's top 100, and Joel Embiid saying he has lost 25 pounds.

• Discussing nuggets about Jimmy Butler and the quadruple doink from JJ Redick's appearance on the Lowe Post.

• Sports Illustrated's Top 100 for 2020 came out. The rankings are mostly fair but the guys have one gripe.

• Joel Embiid said he lost 25 pounds ... but he clearly didn't lose his sense of humor.

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JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

Sixers fans are generally excited about the team's new roster construction heading into the 2019-2020 season, but there's no doubt the sharp shooting of JJ Redick will be missed.

Redick took his talents down to the bayou and will suit up for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. Redick joined ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe on Lowe's podcast this week to talk about his new opportunity. They also reflected a bit on his time with the Sixers and the tough loss to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the playoffs after four bounces of a Kawhi Leonard desperation shot.

Redick is open about the fact that the decision to move on to New Orleans was partly financial.

"I never got the sense that [the Sixers] didn't want to bring me back. Unfortunately, it came down to a little bit of economics," Redick said.

Jimmy Butler's decision to move on to the Miami Heat obviously precipitated that move. Redick speaks highly of Butler regardless of his decision.

"I love Jimmy. I would play with Jimmy again," Redick said. "He is in the upper tier of two-way players and in the upper tier of offensive players in the NBA, period."

So Redick has moved on to New Orleans, but it's tough not to think back to what could have been. There was a point in the Toronto series where Redick believed the Sixers were capable of winning the NBA championship last season.

"Joel [Embiid] and I spent some time together after the season and we talked about it. It was Game 4 [against Toronto] for us. We lost that game and I felt like, for most of that game, we had control, not just that game but that series. We had a chance to go up 3-1. That was the opportunity that we missed. You lose that game and it's 2-2 and you've got to win 2 out of 3 against Toronto, and that's a tough task."

One other interesting nugget from Redick's time in Philly was his sharing that he believed they didn't do enough team dinners on the road.

"I wish, I've tried, I wish, the team meal on the road is huge. I think it's huge. We didn't do it enough last year in Philly. We tried. It wasn't enough. Some of that, look, nobody wants to be forced to go to dinner. It's got to be real and authentic."

Some other choice quotes from the pod below.

On Ben Simmons getting a jumper.

"Ben works. He worked all of last offseason. I witnessed him during the season get his shots up after practice every day. I think he'll be able to shoot at some point. A lot of it is confidence. He can shoot a high enough clip when he's shooting spot shots that it should translate to shooting threes in a game. The video that went viral, looks to me like he's shooting with some confidence there."

Lowe also asked Redick about the dagger shot in Toronto.

"I was on the bench," Redick said. "I sort of had that perfect angle 'cause as soon as the ball had come inbounds, I sort of walked onto the baseline. Not on the court, but onto the baseline so I could get a straight-on view of the action. My memory may be a little jogged but my arms were crossed, I was watching the ball bounce around the rim, and it went in. I'm not sure I had any initial reaction, I think it was just shock. Part of you wants to walk off the floor and punch a wall and the other part of you, if I'm the Raptors, I'd want to dap up the people that I had just played a seven-game series against. I stayed on the court and talked to Kyle, Marc, Kawhi, Danny and those guys. Told them I hope they win a championship and walked off. Then you get back to the locker room and you see the emotion, I was obviously feeling emotional, then Joel started crying. Those are the sorts of moments that you don't forget. As much as you don't forget the shot, the aftermath of moments like that, you just don't forget. There's just a lot of raw emotion."

You can listen to Redick's entire conversation with Zach Lowe right here.

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