Is Sixers' Tobias Harris Considered Most Overpaid Player in NBA?
The Philadelphia 76ers fan base hasn't been thrilled with the team's front office lately. Sure, they've been quite disgruntled since Sam Hinkie was practically forced to resign back in 2016, but the Sixers had a chance to make for up for the frustration caused during the 2019 NBA offseason.
Unfortunately, Sixers Executive President of Basketball Operations Elton Brand said it best, they simply failed. Allowing Jimmy Butler to force a sign and trade to the Miami Heat was a big mistake on the Sixers' part. Then handing out bad contracts to Al Horford and Tobias Harris didn't make up for losing Butler much, either.
Throughout the 2019-2020 NBA season, it's been said the Sixers possess two of the worst contracts in the league with Al Horford's four-year, $109 million deal along with Tobias Harris' five-year $180 million max contract. Recently, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report ranked the top ten worst contracts in the league -- and to no surprise -- Harris finds himself near the top of the chart.
"Character and scoring ability are worth something, but whatever that "something" is, it isn't $180 million over five years. The Philadelphia 76ers are shelling out max money for production that other players could replicate at a fraction of the cost.
Philadelphia didn't have the means to replace Harris by signing an outside free agent, and its willingness to go deep into the tax to retain talent is, on some level, laudable.
But Harris is now one of only seven forwards in the league whose contract extends as far as the 2023-24 season, and he's projected to be the second-highest-paid player at his position for that season. That's just too long of a commitment, at too great of an expense, for too fungible a player."
In the eyes of B/R, Harris has the league's second-worst contract just behind Washington Wizards guard, John Wall. Does that mean Harris is a bad player? Not even close. Although the bar is low in Philly for shooting, Harris is easily one of the most reliable shooters on the team and will probably remain so if and when they upgrade in that department this season.
Plus, Harris' durability and leadership shouldn't go unmentioned, either. For a team that has had multiple significant injuries occur to multiple notable players, the Sixers could typically rely on Harris to be playing throughout the year -- whether he's fully healthy or not.
The good news is that the Sixers hired the coach that helped Harris put up his best numbers back when he was with the Los Angeles Clippers. It's no guarantee that Doc Rivers helps Harris hit the same stride once again, but it's worth waiting and seeing how it all plays out during the 2020-2021 season.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_