Grading every Sixers player: Tobias Harris // B-
Tobias Harris played some of his worst basketball in a while before the James Harden trade, and even directly after the James Harden trade. Then it all clicked. Harris bought into the 3-and-D role fans have been begging him to embrace from day one. He started taking more 3s, attacking closeouts with more precision, and even defending at the highest level of his career.
The Tobias Harris we saw over the past couple months of the season was the best version of Tobias Harris to date. He basically split the season between his worst basketball and his best basketball, and deserves a ton of credit for figuring it out and flipping the switch midstream. Harris’ ability to buy in and play his role made him the Sixers’ most consistent presence in the playoffs. Tobias Harris, the most consistent presence in the playoffs!
Never has Harris’ skill level been in doubt. His decision-making, sure, but he’s always had the skill. He’s efficient at the rim, he’s efficient from 3, and he’s always been hungry on the glass. Now, he’s putting his skill to the best possible use. He’s cutting down on fruitless iso possessions, he’s making cleaner reads passing the ball, and he’s making defenses really respect his shot. Next to Embiid and Harden, that’s crucial.
We will see if Harris is back next season. Odds are he will be, and the Sixers will continue building around the four-man core that (were it not for Embiid’s injuries) could have gotten them even further than Game 6 of the second round. Harris will never live up to that massive contract, but if he continues to embrace the 3-and-D mentality, he’s going to have a really strong 2022-23 season.