The 76ers Biggest Problem: Tobias Harris
Before we get into Tobias Harris, I’d like to pat myself on the back real quick. The Liberty Line tends to provide better optics well before other media outlets and certainly before Sixers Twitter gets together on any sort of take about the 76ers team or their players.
Sure, the Philadelphia 76ers have a serious problem with Ben Simmons. Everyone knows that by now and there’s never going to be a resolution for Simmons to return and play again for Philadelphia. If you want Ben Simmons trade rumors, we have every single one on the website so you can check them out on your own time.
Today, I’m here to talk about Tobias Harris.
Even with the Ben Simmons drama, Tobias Harris is the number one issue holding back the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Harris has been playing terrible basketball and it makes me think that he would be better off sitting out with his teammate instead of trying to help this team win basketball games.
Simmons getting dealt is inevitable, but the Sixers organization should also be taking a very serious look on moving Tobias Harris. Harris signed a 5 year / $180 million contract with the Sixers after Jimmy Butler left the team to go to the Miami Head. The $180 million guaranteed, which is good for an annual average salary of $36 million. This year, Harris will earn a base salary of $35.9 million.
This dude is one of the Top 20 Highest Paid Athletes in the four major sports in America. Sheesh.
So far this season, Harris has done nothing more than make life miserable for Joel Embiid and his teammates. He’s shooting 30.7% from three on 3.9 attempts per game and clearly ruining the spacing for Embiid. On top of that, he magically disappears every time his number is called in crunch time.
In the midst of all the Simmons slander, was a group of individuals at The Liberty Line who were holding Harris to a similar standard. Obviously after Game 7, the popular thing to do was bash Simmons and blame him for the team’s historic blown leads and ultimately losing the series to the Atlanta Hawks. What most failed to acknowledge was the complete failure from Harris. When the team needed him most, he shot 8-for-24 in Game 7.
On top of making things harder for Embiid, Harris is making life much worse for Sixers fans. I can’t describe the events that go through my mind when he passes up countless wide open threes on a nightly basis.
I want to make something clear. I am not excusing Simmons for his actions. I am simply providing an angle that needs to be discussed about the makeup of the 76ers this season. Most Sixers fans just assume once the former number one pick is traded, all of their problems will magically go away which couldn’t be any further from the truth because Tobias Harris will still be on the roster.
There’s no way Daryl Morey is okay with Harris’ performances this season. If he’s truly this mastermind of a GM, he will find a way to trade this guy along with Simmons. It’s simply way too much salary being allocated to a guy who doesn’t directly compliment their franchise cornerstone. There has to be a way to trade him. I don’t even care about the value they get in return. If they can get his salary off their books, it will help them out greatly.
It’s bad when I seriously consider starting Georges Niang over Harris. At least that guy hustles and will shoot an open three. That’s all the Sixers need from a starting power forward. Instead they are paying $180 million to a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony, which is honestly offensive to Melo. A better comparison would be a knock off Marcus Morris.
This entire article was inspired by a tweet I posted this morning. I wanted to give a special shoutout to my boss, Drew Smith for giving me this assignment today. I honestly feel a lot better venting my frustrations. I was also procrastinating a paper I’m supposed to be writing for school.
Mandatory Credit: GettyImages