5 Tobias Harris trades that give 76ers roster flexibility

Philadelphia 76ers, Tobias Harris. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Philadelphia 76ers, Tobias Harris. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Philadelphia 76ers are headed into an uncertain offseason that could force the franchise to make massive changes. They already fired head coach Doc Rivers and replaced him with Nick Nurse, but the team is waiting on James Harden’s decision. He has a $35.6 million player option that he is expected to decline to become a free agent. Will The Beard be back in Philly or does he return to Houston?

If Harden leaves in free agency, the 76ers will have just under $10 million in cap space, plus the full mid-level exception to add talent to their roster. That is enough to add a few pieces, but not replace a star. The Sixers could chase names like Khris Middleton, Fred VanVleet, and Kyrie Irving if they finally moved on from Tobias Harris.

Harris is set to make $39.2 million next season, but it is the final year of his contract. Teams would be more open to taking on his expiring deal, and the Sixers could open the room to reshape their roster around Joel Embiid. Dumping Harris is a risky move that would likely cost Philadelphia the one first-round pick they have available to trade, but Morey has never shied away from gambles before.

Tobias Harris trades that give Philadelphia 76ers roster flexibility

5. 76ers dump Harris in Utah to save $27.0 million

The Sixers want to contend for the title next season, and Harris is still a skilled forward. He is making way more money than the value that he provides on the court, but Philadelphia cannot just dump him for nothing. They should be looking to get a quality rotation player in return and to open up cap space. This move only makes sense if James Harden departs in free agency.

Olynyk is a 6’11 big man that can play the four or the five. He averaged 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 0.9 steals in 28.6 minutes per game last season for the Jazz while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 39.4 percent on his 3-point attempts. The versatile big man could help space the floor around Embiid and give Nick Nurse plenty of lineup options.

Making this trade would give Philadelphia about $35 million in cap space where they could sign Fred VanVleet, bring back Jaden McDaniels, and still have some cap space to sign another $10 to $12 million player. Would that group be better than last season’s Sixers? Perhaps not, but Harden leaving would force Philadelphia to make some difficult decisions.