Tobias Harris has keen interest in signing with the Knicks next summer, a source tells Marc Berman of the New York Post. Harris is set for restricted free agency after the Magic failed to sign him to a rookie scale extension before last month’s deadline. Berman’s source points to the relationship that Harris, a Long Island native, has with Carmelo Anthony after the two worked out several times this past summer at Anthony’s gym in New York. Both Anthony and Harris are clients of the Creative Artists Agency.
An October report indicated that Harris would receive an “upgrade” in his shoe deal with Nike if he were to join a large-market team, though the NBA doesn’t permit players to receive any financial bonuses in their endorsement deals based on the teams that they play for. However, those contracts can give players a bump based on the number of national television appearances that their teams make.
The Magic have reportedly informed Harris’ camp that they’re likely to match any offers for the combo forward, who turns 23 in July. The same dispatch indicated that the Magic were eyeing salaries of around $9MM earlier this fall. Magic GM Rob Hennigan has said that he can’t imagine not keeping the former 19th overall pick, and Harris said at about the same time that he would like to stay in Orlando.
It’s unclear if the Knicks have strong interest in Harris. They have about $32.7MM in commitments for 2015/16, though that doesn’t count a nearly $6.34MM player option for J.R. Smith.