The Sixers are in a much better position to sign Tobias Harris to a long-term contract than they would have been if he had remained in Los Angeles this season, since they now hold his Bird rights. But even before he was sent to Philadelphia in a pre-deadline deal last month, Harris had the 76ers on his list of potential free agent landing spots, he told Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Speaking to Charania, Harris touched on a handful of other topics, including his ability to play alongside and communicate with Sixers stars Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, and Ben Simmons, the trade that sent him from L.A. to Philadelphia, and his future beyond 2018/19.
Here are a few of Harris’ notable comments from the discussion:
On the process of meshing with three other star players in Philadelphia:
“I’m motivated by the challenge. With my game, I can play with anybody. I can be productive with whoever is around me and let my game shine the way it should. I play for the love of the game. I was excited by the challenge of coming into a group where we had work to do.”
On whether he was surprised by the Clippers’ decision to trade him:
“I was a little surprised, but it’s the business. They were going in another direction, obviously, so I wish them the best in that direction. At the end of the day, I can only control where I’m at. I want to grow with everybody here. I came here with an open mind about this group, and just excel in any role. I know the kind of player I am, what I bring to any team.
“Of course a part of me is like, ‘Damn, I did my thing, and still…’ But that just goes to show the game and the business aspect of it. I feel people around the league see my game and know my game. They have respect for my game. The 76ers viewed me that way.”
On whether he’s focused on remaining in Philadelphia beyond this season:
“It would be selfish of me to not come into this situation with an open mind to make this work for the long-term. That’s where my mindset is at. I’m a loyal guy to where I am, and if I feel that loyalty back, that is how I operate. For me, it’s just making it work here and figuring out how it will go. So far, it’s been really good. Gotta show that loyalty.”