Potential Tobias Harris replacement to watch in the NCAA Tournament

Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Clippers
Philadelphia 76ers v Los Angeles Clippers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

Tobias Harris is set to become a free agent this offseason, something that every Sixers fan seems to have been waiting for since he signed a jaw-dropping 5-year, $180 million contract. The Tobias hate is definitely overplayed, specifically among the Philadelphia media. My repeated stance is that Tobias took the contract offered to him. He was never expected to be a franchise-building player. The Sixers were backed into a corner when he last became a free-agent. This time around will be much different.

One less spoken-about future for Tobias would be to re-sign with the Sixers at a much-reduced salary. Clearly, Joel Embiid likes playing with him and there is a comfortability there that cannot be ignored. Whether you want to run him out of town or not, it should be considered that if it will keep Joel happy, maybe this path of bringing Tobias back is explored. In the more likely event he does not come back though, let us take a look at a possible replacement that may be available in the 2024 NBA Draft.

Is there a potential Tobias Harris replacement available in the NBA Draft?

March Madness is upon us which you are well aware of unless you live under a rock. The opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament is one of the best sports weekends of the year and each March we get to see future NBA stars show out and try to raise their draft stock. One such player Sixers fans should keep an eye on is Terrence Shannon Jr. from Illinois.

Depending on how the Sixers finish the season, and how Shannon Jr. finishes the NCAA Tournament, he may not be available when the Sixers pick. However, at the moment, Shannon Jr. is a forward projected to be a mid-to-late first-round draft pick. He is one of two players on the Fighting Illini that provides the majority of the team's offense.

Shannon Jr. is currently averaging 23.3 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game on 48.1% shooting from the field and 36.1% from three-point range. The three-point percentage may be mildly concerning for skeptical Sixers fans looking for an upgrade at the forward position who can knock down shots with the space created for them playing alongside Embiid. Well, you should know, that Shannon Jr. started his college career shooting 25.7% from three so he has already improved,

Another factor to consider is Shannon Jr. is 23 years old. In college, that is ancient. However, for a title contender in the NBA, that is actually ideal. Look at how well Jaime Jaquez Jr. filled into a Miami Heat team that went to the Finals last season. An older, more developed college prospect is often the better option.

For those looking to see Shannon Jr. live, he and the Illini will play next on Thursday, March 28th against Iowa State at 10 PM. Make sure to tune in!