NBA Preseason Roundtable: Ranking the Philadelphia 76ers Roster

Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Joel Embiid, 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Tobias Harris, Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, Joel Embiid, 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia 76ers, Tobias Harris
Philadelphia 76ers, Tobias Harris. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Tobias Harris (written by Nick Butler)

Tobias Harris has had memorable ups and downs in his tenure with the Philadelphia 76ers. It should be said though, that he is much more than an overpaid fourth option. Harris has been the glue that has held the Sixers together in turbulent times when Joel Embiid or James Harden/Ben Simmons have not been in the lineup.

The big development for Harris’ career is his improvement on the defensive side of the floor. Each year, he has improved as a defender who can guard perimeter stretch forwards and hold his own down in the post. While he is overpaid based on the statistics in the box score, under Doc Rivers Harris was never really a focal point of the offense.

Harris has arguably been the best Sixer in the last two postseason runs.

In Nick Nurse’s free-flowing system, Harris should be able to get more involved in the drive-and-kick game by posting up in the corner or slashing to the dunker’s position. Getting Harris going offensively alongside his star companions will make this team not only better but more balanced and harder to beat. Opposing teams will have to pick their poison with Harris, Harden, Embiid, or Maxey.

I fully expect Harris to have rejuvenation of his entire game under new head coach, Nick Nurse. Whether that looks like the output he was producing when he was with the Los Angeles Clippers will be worth watching. And if Harden gets traded out of Philly, the Sixers could end up relying on Harris more than they hope to.