As Tobias Harris’ title swirls in commerce rumors, we realized the vet would possibly choose a much bigger on-ball position

Tobias Harris had a down-then-up season in 2021-2022. However he completed strongly sufficient to depart us questioning what his future holds.

Coming into the 12 months the 6-8 stretch 4 hit a slew of roadblocks from the soar. He contracted a break via COVID case, received a hip damage, then at one other level, a shoulder ailment. So it wasn’t the beginning he needed.

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers advised Harris again in Nov. that “in some unspecified time in the future, your hip goes to really feel nice. You are not going to have COVID. You are not going to have the flu, and you will go on a run, and simply sort of hold in there.” And simply as Tobias was starting to search out his groove his, the crew swung a blockbuster commerce bringing in James Harden, some of the ball dominant gamers in NBA historical past and requested Tobias to accommodate.

After a coronary heart to coronary heart with Doc, Harris needed to attempt to Morey-Ball his sport up on the flytaking over extra of a spot up catch-and-shoot position offensively, and reserving extra power for the defensive aspect of the ball:

“I feel the most important adjustment for me,” Harris admitted by late Apr., “was when [coach Rivers and I] truly sat down and talked and simply had an actual dialog and he advised me what he envisions me doing and the way I can do it at a really excessive degree to assist the group. And from there I used to be simply principally at peace with that and by no means seemed again from that point.”

Harris displayed a fine-tuned taking pictures profile with loads of fast triples and close-out assaults on the rim, enjoying some wonderful basketball at simply the correct time:

He wasn’t fairly as profitable slowing down Jimmy Butler as he was vs. Pascal Siakam, however that was a very tall order and never a blemish on his resume. The Boston Celtics had a historic protection and did not fare significantly better towards Jimmy Buckets.

Butler averaged 27.5 ppg, 7.5 reb, 5.5 ast, 1.7 stl, shot 44 free throws with a .605 ts% vs. Philly.

And versus Boston a spherical later, Butler averaged 25.6 ppg, 7 reb, 3.4 ast, 2 stl, shot 54 free throws, with a .582 TS% within the collection, whereas battling knee irritation. All of Boston’s rangy wings and Defensive Participant of the 12 months finalists solely did a touch higher job than the banged up Sixers, at the same time as Butler’s accidents mounted.

Nonetheless, as a result of the Sixers got here up woefully in need of their championship objective with defenses getting away with double and triple teaming Embiid with out being made to pay, and since Harris continues to be owed almost $80M over the following two seasons, his standing on this Philadelphia crew continues to be a serious query mark.

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Photograph by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Photographs

Final week Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer offered an replace on that entrance:

“The Sixers have publicly acknowledged that they are going to carry again their core of gamers, together with Harris. Nonetheless, privately, the crew is as soon as once more attempting to see what the market is for its fourth-leading scorer behind Embiid, Harden, and Maxey….

The Sixers would love to amass a 3rd star to play alongside perennial All-Stars Embiid and Harden. A commerce would additionally enable Harris to be extra concerned in a crew’s sport plan. He has been the third or fourth possibility all through his Sixers tenure.”

And the following day Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer provided us a bit extra intel on that scenario to watch:

Per Fischer:

“The Sixers seem greater than open to Harris returning subsequent season. He has acquired rave critiques from staffers for his team-first mentality and locker room presence, however the Sixers are exploring all choices to enhance their roster round Harden and Embiid, in addition to rising combo guard Tyrese Maxey.

Ought to Harris stay in Philadelphia, there’s an argument to be made that the soon-to-be 30-year-old could be significantly positioned to carry out in a championship-contending setting forward of his subsequent contract, very like Wiggins in Golden State. However Harris’ illustration has made it recognized that the veteran would really like extra on-ball alternatives inside the Sixers’ offense, notably in pick-and-roll motion.”

It was simple to get misplaced within the lede of every piece, massive ticket trades, Harden possible opting in, and so on.

However it’s sort of an enormous deal, proper? First Pompey implied it, after which Fischer ‘s replace principally confirmed : Harris ‘camp appears dissatisfied together with his latest three-and-D position his.

Harris has by no means loved the quantity of offensive freedom he had again with the Clippers since arriving in Philly. Clearly, the Sixers had championship aspirations, and a bigger than life half court docket presence in Joel Embiid. There hasn’t been a necessity for Harris to play on ball an excessive amount of.

Per Stat Muse, Harris averages 17.8 factors, 6.8 rebounds and three.4 assists in 172 video games for the 76ers with Joel Embiid in his profession, taking pictures 48.3% from the sphere in 34.2 minutes.

And he is averaged 21.0 factors, 7.2 rebounds and three.2 assists in 62 video games for the 76ers with out Joel Embiid in his profession, taking pictures 49% from the sphere in 33.6 minutes.

He is truly appeared extra comfy offensively when Joel is out of the lineup. However it’s not a obvious distinction.

Here is some on ball creation seems from these previous playoffs:

As a pick-and-roll ball handler, Harris’ per sport reg. season averages by 12 months, per NBA.com:

  • 2018-2019: 5.1 possessions, 4.1 FGA, 0.99 PTS/possession, 52.2 EFG%, 87th percentile
  • 2019-2021: 3.3 possessions, 2.8 FGA, .85 PTS/possession, 42.7 EFG%, 53.4 percentile
  • 2020-2021: 4.4 possessions, 3.7 FGA, 0.96 PTS/possession, 47.6 EFG%, 73rd percentile
  • 2021-2022: 2.8 possessions, 2.4 FGA, 1.06, PTS/possession, 53.4 EFG%, 90.5 percentile

From isolation:

  • 2018-2019: 2.2 possessions, 1.9 FGA, 0.99 PTS/possession, 48.1 EFG%, 76.5 percentile
  • 2019-2020: 1.9 possessions, 1.7 FGA, 0.81 PTS/possession, 38.3 EFG%, 41.3 percentile
  • 2020-2021: 1.5 possessions, 1.3 FGA, 1.08 PTS/possession, 57.5 EFG%, 86.3 percentile
  • 2021-2022: 1.4, possessions 1.3 FGA, .84 PTS/possession, 41.3 EFG%, 40.6 percentile

2022 Playoff choose and roll ball handler numbers

  • 1.1 possessions, (13 whole) 0.9 FGA, 1.08 PTS/possession, 63.6 EFG%, 83.9 percentile

Can distinction with Tyrese Maxey’s 1.00 PTS/possession (40 whole) and Harden’s 0.91 ppp, (53 whole).

Maxey completed within the 79.6 percentile, Harden 64.3.

2022 Playoffs isolation performs per sport

  • 2021-2022 1.5 possessions, 1.3 FGA, 1.06 PTS/possession, 63.3 EFG%, 73.2 percentile

Harris and Harden logged 21 reg. season video games collectively, ending a +153.

His playoff warmth map:

So wanting on the numbers, it is not unreasonable to assume Harris would possibly deserve extra ball handler duties. He ‘s not a deadly isolation participant, however his percentile his finishes his as a pick-and-roll ball handler are positively stable, although it ‘s a smaller pattern since Harden arrived and that ‘s the important thing.

The large query is that this: if he will get extra probabilities, who will get much less? Are these touches being “manufactured?” Are you taking photographs away from Embiid? Are you asking Harden to identify up from three? Is Tyrese Maxey sacrificing? Jackson Frank and I talked about methods it would look within the last ten minutes of this pod. Do not miss Jackson’s full ideas there, however the gist was that as a secondary creator, attacking from maybe the wings, (versus the high-screen, spread-floor two-man sport we see Harden and Joel run) or towards a rotating protection, it would simply work in spurts. And we needed the Sixers to be a bit extra artistic offensively anyway to diversify their assault.

Nonetheless, upon first thought, one thing appears flawed about the entire concept in precept. That was a few of the greatest ball of Harris’ profession, do we actually wish to mess that up?

In an easier world, the Harden-Embiid pick-and-roll could be ramped up, and accentuated, with keen snipers platooned as distant from them as doable offering house.

Harden averaged 7.6 possessions per sport final reg. season as a PnR ball handler, and I simply do not love the thought of ​​him getting much less of these subsequent season with Joel, seeing as how that was some of the deadly performs within the sport.

The quantity (of Harden led PnRs) truly dropped to 4.4 possessions per sport throughout the playoffs, because the Sixers frustratingly went away from it down the stretch. (Some due to accidents, and a few as a result of… I nonetheless haven’t any clue.)

So if the Sixers already had an incentive to examine the market temp on Harris, and now they’ve the extra info he is probably not thrilled persevering with on on this complementary position, perhaps there’s an actual likelihood (even when we’re not into possible territory but) he is traded.

I do not know, if there some approach to entice the Sacramento Kings into one thing like….

But when Harris goes to be right here, I am not closed off on the thought of ​​him getting a number of extra alternatives per sport.

We heard Embiid may match on his perimeter sport this off season. And his abilities coach Drew Hanlen principally confirmed that. So perhaps there truly will likely be extra probabilities for Harris to create with a diffusion ground. Perhaps they will function him a bit extra within the non-Embiid minutes too. Mainly, I am open to it, so long as it really works and it is environment friendly and would not maintain anybody else again. In reality, the thought of ​​Embiid delegating extra of the offensive workload might be a fantastic factor. Utilizing Embiid as extra of a decoy throughout the 12 months might actually save a few of his power his for protection, and the stretch run. (And I would not thoughts if Embiid and Harden have been each on conservative load administration packages subsequent season wherein case there is perhaps tons of pick-and-rolls obtainable to run.)

Anyway, it is an surprising wrinkle and also you surprise if or the way it would possibly play into doable commerce talks. Chances are high Harris will likely be round by the primary sport of the season. And who is aware of, perhaps showcasing a few of his pick-and-roll chops his will increase his commerce worth by Christmas anyway. Or perhaps he makes himself invaluable to this membership by reaching one other gear and makes his first All-Star crew.

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