Sixers: 3 goals for Tobias Harris in 2022-23 season

Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

Goal for Sixers’ Tobias Harris: Earn defensive reputation

Tobias Harris has always been more inclined toward the offensive end of the floor. That’s fine. For a while, the Sixers really didn’t need him to carry much weight on defense. Ben Simmons could handle big wings or twitchy guards, Joel Embiid protected the rim, and Matisse Thybulle filled in the gaps. Last season, however, Harris stepped into an elevated defensive role — especially in the playoffs. He delivered.

At 6-foot-8, Harris has the size and athleticism to be a game-changing defender. He’s not an elite athlete by any stretch, but he’s fairly versatile on paper. The Sixers have relieved some of the defensive pressure on Harris by signing P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, but still, Harris should look to build on his terrific two-way performance in the playoffs. If Harris can truly unlock and weaponize his 3-and-D skill set, he will absolutely crush it next to Philadelphia’s star trio.

The Sixers signed Harris to his mega-max contract when he was the team’s No. 2 option offensively. Now he’s the fourth option. That could be a difficult adjustment, but there are still ample avenues for Harris to augment Philadelphia’s core and elevate their contending status. It takes real sacrifice and a rejection of ego on Harris’ behalf, but he proved himself capable of it last season. Hopefully he can continue that positive momentum into 2022-23, because if he does, we might be talking about the best season of his career in a few months time.

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