Sixers: 3 players who could have career-best years

De'Anthony Melton, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
De'Anthony Melton, Sixers Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

Sixers who could have career-best years: Tobias Harris

Tobias Harris could be in line for the best season of his career, but maybe not in the traditional sense. This is a guy who has averaged 20 points on close to 50/40/90 shooting in the past. His scoring numbers will probably dip in his first full season as the No. 4 option offensively, but that could coincide with his best all-around basketball yet.

We saw flashes of a new and improved Tobias Harris towards the end of last season. He cut down on mindless dribbling, upped his volume of spot-up 3s, and made a concerted effort to get all the way to the rim when attacking off the bounce. He became a supercharged role player, to the point where he even played the most focused and determined defense of his career. That is the best version of Tobias Harris — not the version who’s trying to live up to his contract as Embiid’s co-star. That’s not who Harris is. He’s a 3-and-D forward who can occasionally punish size mismatches in the post.

With Harden at the reigns, Embiid controlling the tempo, and Maxey taking another leap as the team’s No. 3 star, Harris is perfectly positioned to maximize his skill set. Less has always been more for the 30-year-old, and if he embraces his condensed role, we could be singing his praises all the way to the NBA Finals.

So no, Harris probably won’t break his personal scoring records. He might, however, put together his first season of consistent high-level defense. He might do more than ever to elevate teammates and keep the ball moving, rather than falling prey to ill-advised iso jumpers. He planted the seeds last season; let’s see if Harris’ game can blossom fully in 2022-23.