The Philadelphia 76ers have their work cut out for them on the cusp of NBA free agency. While it appears unlikely that Jimmy Butler will return to Philly, the Sixers will meet with Tobias Harris to kickstart their negotiations, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic:
UFA Tobias Harris will meet with the 76ers at the start of the free agent period at 6 p.m., per source. Harris is seeking a max deal.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) June 30, 2019
Harris was acquired by the Sixers from the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the February trade deadline after he posted career highs over the first 55 games of the 2018-19 season.
Although Harris managed nearly the same number of shot attempts per game in Philadelphia, his 3-point percentage dropped by over 10 percent. He proved to be an exceptionally capable rebounder especially in the playoffs, but his scoring fluctuated as he tried to blend in with Butler, Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and J.J. Redick.
Still, the likelihood that Butler is departing makes the decision to bring Harris back to the City of Brotherly Love that much easier. Harris is one of the most versatile swingmen in the game, and Butler’s absence would likely open up the floor for both him and Redick to make plays on the perimeter.
The Sixers can afford to give Harris a max deal while also re-signing Redick and having the ability to pursue another marquee free agent, or alternatively, to supplement the roster with other perimeter shooters and depth pieces.
Embiid is still the piece to build around in Philadelphia, but Harris is also just about to turn 27 and developing into a two-way star. The Sixers will likely be aggressive as they try to bring him back.
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