Let’s get it back to the Sixers.
I’m in the camp of people who feel like Elton Brand should do whatever necessary to run it back, but who knows what free agents Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler are thinking.
To the former, Michael Scotto at The Athletic wrote a story about the trickle down effect of Kevin Durant’s injury on the rest of the NBA, and dropped this nugget about Harris:
Nets management always planned to swing for the fences and try to sign the game’s elite free agents, including Durant, Kawhi Leonard, and (Kyrie) Irving. However, the team also entered the summer with other contingency plans.
The Nets and free agent forward Tobias Harris have mutual free agent interest in each other, league sources told The Athletic. Harris represents a fit at power forward, where Brooklyn shuffled four players last season. Harris, who turns 27 on July 15, fits the age trajectory of Brooklyn’s young core, provides offensive versatility as a playmaking four in pick-and-roll sets and as a shooter, and fits Brooklyn’s culture as a well-regarded teammate over his career.
Scotto goes on to point out that Steve Atkinson, brother of Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, coached Harris in high school. Tobias is from Islip, on Long Island, so geographically Brooklyn makes sense for him if he wants to “go home” in free agency.
For what it’s worth, here’s what Harris said at exit interviews when asked about his priorities in free agency, after the jump:
What are you looking for in free agency.. stability?
“Well, you know, stability is not gonna … you know, something that is pretty much… there’s only so many players that are super steady in the NBA. Let’s just be upfront with that. For me, honestly, style of play is a huge thing. Culture. A chance to be able to win. Just being in the playoffs here and getting that feeling and seeing how bad that (game seven Raptors) loss felt, obviously is somewhere for me get back to, like I said before, pushing hard to go further than that. But those are just two things off the top. As I said before, I put myself in a position every single year, by the work that I put in, to be better. Every single year I took a step in my game. For me it’s to take another step and be my (inaudible). I’m gonna put the work in, like I always do in every offseason, to come back better and just be locked in and focused on that. But, you know, when the time comes those things will be presented and a decision will be made, but I haven’t given much thought to that.”
Brooklyn played a guard-heavy pick and roll and isolation game this season. Tobias would definitely fit a need on that squad, but I feel like he’s also a perfect fit as a stretch four in Brett Brown’s system and has more to give next season, which I wrote about earlier this month.