Tobias Harris

Draft Updates: Oni, Langford, Bitadze, Bone, Harris

Yale wing Miye Oni returned to the Bucks’ practice facility for a second workout on Saturday, ESPN’s Jordan Schultz tweets. Oni averaged 17.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 3.6 APG during his junior season. The 6’6” Oni is hoping to become the first Ivy Leaguer drafted since 1995, Schultz adds.

We have more draft info:

  • Indiana freshman swingman Romeo Langford is meeting with the Heat this weekend, Schultz reports in another tweet. Miami possesses the No. 13 pick and Langford is ranked No. 14 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
  • International prospect Goga Bitadze is visiting the Celtics, Pistons and Hornets in the days leading up to Thursday’s draft. according to a tweet from Hawks website writer Kevin Chouinard. The 6’11” Bitadze, 19, led the EuroLeague and Adriatic League in blocks on both a per-game and per-minute basis. He is ranked No. 17 overall by Givony.
  • The Wizards worked out Tennessee guard Jordan Bone on Saturday, according to a team press release. The point guard is No. 56 on Givony’s list.
  • Forward Terry Harris worked out for the Knicks on Thursday, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News tweets. He also visited the Nets this week and will work out for the Mavericks and Jazz, Bondy adds in another tweet. He played for North Carolina A&T in his senior year, averaging 8.1 PPG. He is the younger brother of Sixers free agent forward Tobias Harris.

Is Pursuing A RFA Worth The Risk For Sixers?

The Sixers have said that their primary plan this summer is to re-sign both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. But, it’s been reported that both players are open to looking at other options (the Clippers, Knicks, Lakers, and Nets come to mind).

If Butler or Harris end up signing elsewhere, Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon, Nets guard D’Angelo Russell, or Celtics guard Terry Rozier could be other options for Philadelphia. But, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes, pursuing a restricted free agent complicates matters.

In order to submit an offer sheet to Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier, the Sixers would first need to create the requisite cap space necessary to sign one of them. The cap holds of Butler and Harris combined with the 2019/20 salaries of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons eat up just under $88.5MM of a projected $109MM cap, leaving a little more than $20.5MM in cap space. Adding in the $1MM in guaranteed salary owed to Jonathan Simmons, the salaries for Zhaire Smith and Jonah Bolden, and six incomplete roster holds equates to about $99.6MM.

Therefore, even if the Sixers renounced all of their free agents besides Butler and Harris (which seems unlikely given they would ideally like to re-sign J.J. Redick as well), renounced all their exceptions, and traded the No. 24 overall pick, they’d still only have about $9.4MM in cap space, which is likely not enough to offer Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier a contract commensurate with their value.

As such, the Sixers would ultimately need to also renounce their rights to Harris or Butler in order to pursue one of the aforementioned guards. They won’t do this with Butler, so it would have to be Harris. But here’s the risk: even if the Sixers negotiate a deal with Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier right at 6:00pm on June 30, the Bucks, Nets, or Celtics (all Eastern Conference rivals to the Sixers) would have until 12:00pm on July 8 – two days after the July moratorium ends – to decide whether to match the Sixers’ offer for Brogdon.

In other words, the two-day deadline to match an offer sheet does not commence until the moratorium is over, and you can be sure Milwaukee, Boston, or Brooklyn would take all of their allotted time. During the time period between the Sixers’ agreement with Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier and the opposing team’s ultimate decision – 7 days and 18 hours – the Sixers’ cap space would be completely tied up. It’s entirely possible that both Harris and Redick sign elsewhere during this time, as deals often get done at a breakneck speed during the first week of free agency.

If the Bucks, Nets, or Celtics decline to match, no harm done. But what if they match the offer sheet? The Sixers are left with a relatively significant amount of cap space with no free agents left to sign. And even if Harris and Redick are still available, they may be frustrated/resentful by the Sixers’ decision to go after Brogdon, Russell, or Rozier at their expense.

Ultimately, a decision like this comes down to how much the Sixers like the player for whom they’re incurring the risk. If the Sixers think Brogdon, Russell, Rozier, or any other restricted free agent can put them over the top, the risk may be worthwhile. If the player being pursued is just another piece, however, the risk is probably too much to bear.

Free Agent Rumors: Clippers, Nets, Knicks, Kyrie, KD, More

While the Clippers are generally grouped together with the rest of the Los Angeles and New York teams leading up to free agency as the big-market franchises looking to make a major splash on the free agent market, the Clips’ plans may look a little different than what those other clubs have in mind, writes Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

As Buha explains, the Clippers are unlikely to pursue top point guards like Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker due to their “steadfast belief” in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has been considered untouchable in trade talks.

Additionally, the Clippers likely won’t attempt to sign a second- or third-tier free agent like Khris Middleton or Tobias Harris unless it’s on a short-term deal, according to Buha, who points out that the team traded away Harris because it didn’t want to cap the roster’s ceiling at “good” instead of “great.”

Instead, the Clippers will focus on the top two free agents in this year’s free agent class – Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard – as well as top trade candidate Anthony Davis. If L.A. is unable to land one of those superstars, the organization figures to remain patient, avoiding a reactionary signing or trade and instead shifting its attention to re-signing its own free agents and making smaller moves, says Buha.

As we wait to see how that plan plays out, let’s round up a few more rumors and notes related to free agency:

  • Within his full report on Kyrie Irving‘s agent change, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shares some intriguing tidbits on two of this summer’s top free agents. Sources tell Wojnarowski that Irving remains “intensely interested” in the Nets, with the Knicks expected to remain competitive for the star point guard. Both New York teams are still interested in signing Irving and Kevin Durant together, even after KD’s Achilles tear, according to Woj.
  • There’s a feeling in both NBA circles and in the Nets‘ front office that Brooklyn will land at least one star free agent this offseason, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Marc Berman of The New York Post explores some potential Plan Bs for the Knicks in the event that they miss out on Durant or back off their pursuit of the two-time Finals MVP at all following his Achilles injury.
  • The Jazz appear likely to lose veterans Ekpe Udoh and Thabo Sefolosha in free agency, according to Eric Walden of The Salt Lake Tribune, who examines the impact the duo had on Utah’s locker room over the last couple seasons.

Tobias Harris Interested In Nets

It’s already been reported that the Nets, among other teams, are interested in signing free agent forward Tobias Harris this summer. Now, according to Michael Scotto of The Athletic, it appears that the interest is mutual, with Harris to consider Brooklyn in free agency.

As noted by Scotto, Harris would fill somewhat of a void at power forward alongside young big man Jarrett Allen, and at only 26 years old, Harris would be able to grow alongside the Nets’ young core of Allen, Caris LeVert, and D’Angelo Russell, should he be re-signed.

Another potentially important factor in Harris’ free agency decision is his connection to Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson. Harris’ family and Atkinson both lived on Long Island when Harris was growing up and Steve Atkinson – Kenny’s brother – was one of Harris’ coaches in high school.

Harris, who turned down a four-year, $80MM contract extension from the Clippers last summer before being traded to the Sixers during the 2018/19 season, averaged a career-high 20.0 PPG this season, making himself one of the more sought-after free agents this summer.

Kyler’s Latest: Celtics, Capela, Kyrie, Sixers, More

After reporting earlier this week that the Celtics had “engaged pretty seriously” on Rockets center Clint Capela, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders has provided a few more details today. Sources tell Kyler that Boston has “expressed considerable interest” in Capela. However, he may be more of a Plan B or C for the Celtics, particularly if they’re still serious about pursuing Anthony Davis.

As Kyler details, league sources are skeptical that the Celtics will keep and use all three of their first-round picks (Nos. 14, 20, and 22). Meanwhile, Houston has been trying to get first-round prospects in for workouts despite not currently holding any draft picks — Kyler writes that the Rockets have been suggesting to agents that they have the ability to acquire a pick in the top 20.

It’s possible that the Celtics could trade one of their first-rounders to another team, and the Rockets are likely exploring deals with clubs outside of Boston. Still, it’s worth watching to see if those two teams end up getting something done on or before draft night.

Here’s more from Kyler:

  • Although Kyler, like others, has heard that the Celtics are operating as if Kyrie Irving probably won’t return, he writes that the club is prepared to offer Irving a maximum-salary deal to see if he’ll turn it down.
  • There’s a sense that Philadelphia will make full maximum-salary offers to Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, per Kyler. The Sixers are making sure that their players and other teams know they’re serious about keeping their core intact, according to Kyler, who adds that there’s a belief that Butler and Harris would re-sign if the team does put those offers on the table.
  • Kyler says that the Cavaliers, Suns, Hawks, Timberwolves, Magic, Hornets, Heat, and Celtics are all viewed as candidates to trade top-20 picks in the draft, either for veteran players or to move up or down in the draft.

Team USA Announces 20-Player Camp Roster For World Cup

USA Basketball has officially announced the group of 20 players that will participate in training camp this summer in advance of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The camp will take place from August 5-9, and will be used to select the 12-man roster for this year’s World Cup in China.

The 20-man training camp roster is as follows:

  1. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  2. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  3. Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  4. Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  5. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  6. James Harden (Rockets)
  7. Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
  8. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  9. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
  10. Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
  11. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  12. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  13. CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
  14. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  15. Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
  16. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  17. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  18. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  19. P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
  20. Kemba Walker (Hornets / FA)

“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.

“I’m appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved,” Popovich continued. “Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult.”

It will be an eventful summer for many of the players on the 20-man Team USA training camp roster. Besides Harris, Lopez, and Walker, who are all headed for unrestricted free agency and could be on new teams by August, players like Barnes, Middleton, and Millsap could reach the open market if their player or team options are declined. Others – including Davis, Gordon, Kuzma, Tatum, and Tucker – have been mentioned in trade rumors.

Kuzma and Mitchell are the only players on the roster who haven’t played internationally for Team USA in the past. Five player on the roster (Barnes, Davis, Harden, Love, and Lowry) have won gold medals for USA Basketball at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, while two others (Drummond and Gordon) have taken home gold at previous World Cups.

Previous reports indicated that Zion Williamson, John Collins, and Marvin Bagley are expected to be among the players named to a 10-man select team that will scrimmage with Team USA’s 20-man roster at the training camp in August.

Sixers Eyeing Immediate Contributor With No. 24 Overall Pick

The Sixers have the No. 24 overall pick in the upcoming draft and they will look to select a prospect who can immediately help them win games.

“That’s hopefully somebody that can come in and contribute right away,” Sixers senior director of scouting Vince Rozman said of the team’s first-round pick (via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer).

GM Elton Brand will look to players who’ve had more experience. The Sixers will target “a player with more of a mature game than a ‘project.’ But I don’t know if that’s necessarily driven by age,” Brand said.

The fact that Philadelphia is hoping to land a rotation player in the draft comes as no surprise. The Sixers will attempt to bring back Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and J.J. Redick this summer, and if they’re successful, they’ll be limited in their ability to make upgrades to supplement their current group, as I detailed on a recent episode of NBA Math’s Hardwood Knocks podcast.

If the Sixers bring back their playoff starting five, the non-taxpayer’s mid-level exception—projected to come in at $9.246MM—would be the club’s greatest tool in acquiring additional talent. Teams have the ability to offer a free agent the entire amount of the MLE as a starting salary but can also split that amount among multiple players.

The Sixers also have four selections in the second round (Nos. 33, 34, 42, and 54). Philadelphia has worked out a bevy of prospects and will continue the evaluation process through draft night. No prospect may be as notable as Terry Harris (North Carolina A&T), brother of Tobias.

“One, they look a lot alike. That’s also interesting,” Rozman said. “But [Terry] is 6’6″. He can shoot. He defends. It’s got to be a proud moment for the family and Tobias and everybody.”

In addition to Terry, the Sixers have also brought in Tyler Harris for an audition at their free agent minicamp.

While Terry isn’t expected to be drafted, the Sixers own four of the draft’s final 28 selections, which gives them the flexibility to take an untraditional route in extracting value from their late picks.

Such late selections typically have a low probability of yielding a contributor, so using them in a manner that would be favorable to one of their max free agents wouldn’t come with great opportunity cost. This is strictly speculation, as the team’s plan with its second-rounders is unknown. All that appears certain is that the Sixers will look to use their first selection on a player who can contribute from day one.

Draft Notes: Hornets, Sibande, Cook, Harris

Maryland sophomore forward Bruno Fernando headed a group of six players the Hornets worked out on Sunday. He’s currently listed No. 33 overall on ESPN’s Jonathan Givony list of Top 100 prospects. The other five players who came in, according to a team press release, included guards Shizz Alston Jr. (Temple), Justin Simon (St. John’s) and Keyshawn Woods (Ohio State), forward Lamar Stevens (Penn State) and center Raasean Davis (North Carolina Central).

We have more on the draft:

  • Davis and Nevada forward Trey Porter will work out for the Wizards, Nicola Lupo of Sportando tweets.
  • Miami (Ohio)’s Nike Sibande will return to school, Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports tweets. Sibande averaged 16.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG for the RedHawks last season.
  • Iowa big man Tyler Cook will remain in the draft, Jeff Goodman at WatchStadium.com tweets. Cook averaged 14.5 PPG and 7.6 RPG in his junior year.
  • North Carolina A&T shooting guard Terry Harris worked out for the Clippers last week, Chris Broussard of Fox Sports tweets. He’s the younger brother of Tobias Harris.

Mavericks Notes: Harris, Future, Thompson, Ross, Walker

Tobias Harris might be the best free agent fit for the Mavericks, according to Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. The Sixers forward fills a glaring need for a scorer who can swing between both forward positions. With Luka Doncic providing the playmaking and Kristaps Porzingis spreading the court, Harris would get plenty of scoring opportunities, Townsend notes. Harris isn’t an elite defender but that wouldn’t stop the Mavs from offering him a max deal, Townsend adds.

We have more on the Mavericks:

  • Dallas doesn’t necessarily have to win in free agency this summer to have a bright future, ESPN’s Bobby Marks points out in his offseason preview. The team could have even more cap space the next two summers, when other top-level free agents hit the market. However, the Mavs must retool their bench with so many of their second-unit players becoming free agents.
  • Klay Thompson would be the ideal backcourt partner with Doncic, given his ability to space the floor, catch and shoot or create off the dribble, Townsend notes in a separate story. It must be pointed out that Townsend’s story appeared before Thompson failed to make an All-NBA Team, so the Warriors don’t have to offer the shooting guard a super-max deal to retain him. A more realistic target would be Magic swingman Terrence Ross, who would provide much-needed outside shooting, Townsend adds.
  • The Mavs’ frontcourt needs should be a prioritized over pursuit of a pricey point guard, Townsend argues in another overview of free agents. Townsend still takes a look at how players like Kemba Walker and Patrick Beverley could fit into the equation.

Atlantic Notes: Knicks, Sixers, T. Harris, Nets

The Knicks find themselves in an interesting cap situation this summer as they mull a possible run at Anthony Davis, as well as the pursuit of multiple elite free agents. As Ian Begley of SNY.tv explains, it’s possible for New York to sign a pair of star free agents and then acquire Davis by sending out just enough salary to match his cap figure. However, matching salaries in that scenario could be complicated by Davis’ trade bonus and by which players the Knicks have at their disposal to move.

While it may seem counter-intuitive, the Knicks’ flexibility could actually increase if they exercise some combination of options on players like Allonzo Trier, John Jenkins, Henry Ellenson, and Billy Garrett. Picking up some of those options could still leave New York with two max slots, and would give the team additional salaries to send out for matching purposes in a Davis offer.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • If the Sixers re-sign both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris to lucrative long-term deals and also make a maximum-salary commitment to Ben Simmons, they won’t necessarily be a taxpayer in 2019/20, but it’d be virtually impossible to avoid the tax in future seasons, Derek Bodner of The Athletic writes in an in-depth cap breakdown.
  • With Tobias Harris’ list of suitors continuing to grow, Net Income of NetsDaily explores whether it would be worth it for the Nets to offer the free agent forward a maximum-salary contract.
  • Performances like the one Kawhi Leonard turned in on Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals were what Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri envisioned when he pulled the trigger on the Leonard blockbuster with San Antonio last July, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
  • Kansas guard Devon Dotson was among the draft-eligible prospects to work out for the Celtics on Thursday, tweets Sean Deveney of Sporting News. According to Deveney, Dotson is still mulling the possibility of returning to the Jayhawks and will make his decision next week before the NCAA’s May 29 withdrawal deadline.