Today’s league is dominated by said “super-teams.” These organizations are comprised of the best players in the world. In order to maintain such talent, it is vital to have a flexible amount of salary. By relinquishing the contract of All-Star snub Tobias Harris to the 76ers, the Clippers achieve two things: two maximum salary spots, and a plethora of young players and draft picks available for high key players through trades.
In this move, the Clippers received two first round picks, one from Miami in 2021, two second round picks, and a potential starter in Landry Shamet. This transaction allows the Clippers flexibility to pursue players such as Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson. While Harris thrived in Doc River’s modern offense, he did not garner top dollar in Jerry West’s eyes. Harris in any other free agency period would receive compensation ranging between 17-21 million dollars, however, in this market he is over valued at 30-34 million due to the rise in team capital this offseason. Placing the expectation upon the Clippers to pay Tobias such a salary is unfair and immoral in the sense of championship contention. By further equipping their own “war chest” of assets, the Clippers can make a considerable push to remain the top dog of Los Angeles.
While Harris’ departure is beneficial for the Clippers, he brings an immense amount of on-court value for the 76ers. With Ben Simmons protesting the three point shot and Joel Embiid being no marksman either, Harris brings great versatility to a stagnating team. Brett Brown has capable talent to surround Ben Simmons, and likewise survive deep into the post season. Harris is an effective defender, by no means similar to former Sixer Robert Covington, who has the appropriate length to guard nearly every position on the floor. This fluidity permits Brett Brown to abuse matchups on smaller lankier players. A front court of Harris and Embiid is able to compete with the best players down low. This season Harris has also displayed improved ball handling skills, such ability allows Simmons to cut to the basket more often and take advantage of efficient shots close to the rim. Plugging Tobias Harris into this arising super team is beneficial for future spacing and player development. Without question, the revitalized 76ers are the best defense in the league as Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, and Joel Embiid are not negative defenders by any means.
The only woe of this deal is whether or not Elton Brand and his group can maintain Tobias Harris passed this season. Jimmy Butler, like Harris, is also entitled to a pretty penny this summer and subsequently Ben Simmons in the next, but with appropriate contract adjustments, and smart salary based trades the 76ers are entirely able to build longterm success once the Warriors officially fizzle out.