4 players fighting for their future with 76ers

Paul Reed, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Paul Reed, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Will Tobias Harris last another offseason with the 76ers?

Tobias Harris is the highest-paid player on the Sixers. His infamous five-year, $180 million contract has finally run its course. He is due $39.4 million next season before entering unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2024.

Once considered untradaeble, Harris’s contract now enters prime salary-matching territory for the Sixers. If James Harden does ultimately leave for Houston, Morey could be desperate to find another high-profile teammate for Joel Embiid. Or, if depth becomes an issue, the Sixers could look to flip Harris’s expiring contract for a collection of less expensive contributors to flesh out the rotation.

We have heard rumblings aplenty about potential Harris trades for a couple years now. This summer, however, feels like a genuine inflection point. Harris has seen his role reduced considerably in the face of Tyrese Maxey’s breakout. He’s the fourth option, in a role that still looks uncomfortable for him, making almost $40 million. The Sixers couldn’t be blamed for thinking there’s a better way to spend that money.

The Sixers shouldn’t trade Harris for the sake of trading him, of course. He’s still quite valuable as a floor-spacer and slasher who can target mismatches and crash the boards. The Sixers have relied on Harris for several important defensive matchups lately and he generally answers the call. He was big-time in the 2022 playoffs and will still be in line for 35-plus minutes per game in the Sixers’ upcoming postseason run. If Harris commits to volume shooting, quick decisions, and impassioned defense while the Sixers make a deep run, he could play himself off of the seemingly imminent trade block.

Harris doesn’t necessarily have much to prove: he’s an established NBA starter with admirable efficiency numbers and several productive years under his belt. But the Sixers could be forced to move in a different direction this summer based on a number of circumstances outside of Harris’s control. All that he can control, of course, is his performance level on the court.