The Curious Case of Tobias Harris

CHICAGO, USA - JANUARY 13 : Robin Lopez (42) of the Chicago Bulls in action against Tobias Harris (34) during the NBA game between Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

NBA journeyman Tobias Harris has been in the league since the 2011/12 season. Harris has been consistently working on perfecting his craft while helping whichever team he is on. Unfortunately for him, that list of teams has been expanding by the year.

The Curious Case of Tobias Harris

The Journey

Harris was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks at age 19, where he played for two seasons before being traded to the Orlando Magic. Harris’ Milwaukee days were nothing special for a rookie. In Orlando Tobias played four seasons and expanded his game, averaging 16.9 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game. In the 2015/16 season, the Detroit Pistons traded away Ersan Ilyasova in a package for Harris. Tobias took his game to another level in Detroit playing a major role in Stan Van Gundy’s offense. Harris averaged 18.9 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game and making 1.8 three-pointers per game at a 37 percent rate.

Once again, Tobias Harris flashed his skillset so much such that he was part of Detroit’s blockbuster trade in January 2018. The Pistons centered a package around Harris to trade for Blake Griffin from the Los Angeles Clippers. The journeyman never complained, and he also took his game to another level as the Clippers offense flowed through him and Lou Williams. Harris averaged 20.3 points per game, 7.2 rebounds while making 2.1 three-pointers per game at a 42 percent rate.

The Man

Tobias Harris led the Clippers team which took the league by storm at the beginning of the 2018/19 season. The Clippers were among the top teams in the Western Conference for the first few months of the season, before slowly reverting to their expected average. Although the team slowed down, Harris never did. He was in the discussion for his first All-Star selections in a star-ridden Western Conference. That was enough to show the value of Harris and the potential of his contribution to a winning team. Unfortunately for him, his NBA tour was not finished just yet.

The Destination (for now)

On February 6th, 2019 the Philadelphia 76ers traded Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and a number of picks for Harris, Boban Marjanovic, and Mike Scott. Harris has played ten games in Philadelphia so far, averaging 21.6 points per game, 8.3 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game, while draining 2.5 three-pointers per game at a 39 percent rate. On a positive note, Marjanovic was also traded with Harris to Philadelphia. The duo, nicknamed Bobi and Tobi, formed a special bond dating back to their days in Detroit and Los Angeles. It now continues in Philadelphia.

The Next Destination

One thing that we can deduce from Harris’ NBA journey so far is that he keeps on getting better. Regardless of the situation, he adapts his game and adjusts to the flow of whatever team needs him. Interestingly enough, Tobias is an unrestricted free agent this summer. He joins a stacked free agency pool highlighted by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, however, there are plenty of teams who would be more than lucky to land the talents (and character) of Tobias Harris. 

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