The Orlando Magic will have plenty of competition this summer for restricted free agent forward Tobias Harris—the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are reportedly in the hunt for Harris—and they better be ready to open up the ol’ checkbook.
Harris is reportedly looking for a near max-level deal, and word is that rival teams won’t hesitate to make him a big offer.
The Magic will have the opportunity to match whatever Harris gets on the market—the 22-year-old averaged 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 34.8 minutes in 68 games in his fifth season.
Harris, 22, is among the top young players on the available market, and could be the most vulnerable restricted free agent to leave his team. Around the NBA, several teams are believed to be open to preparing a near-max contract for Harris — which could approach $15 million-plus per season, an area the Magic likely elect not to match given the course of extension talks last October and their current team salary structure.
For the Pistons, there is a vision of using Harris as a potential hybrid stretch-wing, capable of playing the small and power forward positions. Several NBA personnel said that Harris’ slashing and outside shooting will jibe instantly with Stan Van Gundy’s system.
In Orlando, Harris has maintained dialogue with Scott Skiles, his former coach, throughout the year, exchanging encouraging messages. Nevertheless, Orlando’s desire to match a maximum-level offer sheet on Harris has been in question.