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The Philadelphia 76ers will move quickly to re-sign forward Tobias Harris this summer, regardless of whether swingman Jimmy Butler decides to remain with the team, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
Both Harris and Butler are on expiring contracts and will be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season.
“Harris is ready for some long-term stability,” Deveney wrote. “He’s been shipped from Milwaukee to Orlando to Detroit to the Clippers and now to the Sixers, and he is still only 26 (he turns 27 in July). The expectation is that the team will move quickly to keep Harris, no matter the situation with Butler.”
Harris was acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers at the trade deadline in early February. He is averaging 20.5 points and 7.9 rebounds on the season, including 19.2 points and 8.2 boards in his first 19 appearances with the Sixers.
Despite his impressive scoring numbers, Harris is viewed as one the league’s most selfless players.
“They could then agree to keep Harris, renounce (J.J.) Redick and Butler and have more than $30 million in cap space, enough for a max contract in case they could lure a big-name player who’s younger than Butler,” Deveney wrote.
The Sixers are in third place in the Eastern Conference, behind the Milwaukee Bucks and Toronto Raptors, entering Monday’s games. With the likes of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Harris, Butler and Redick, there are still plenty of people around the league who believe the Sixers could reach the Finals this season.
If that happens, well, they may approach the offseason differently. But for now, it seems doubtful they will keep all three among Butler, Harris and Redick.