Viewed through the lens of the Raptors’ historic championship run, the Philadelphia 76ers’ ouster in the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the hands of Toronto suddenly looks a lot more promising than we initially thought. Instead of being symptomatic of a haphazardly assembled roster and a lack of on-court chemistry, Philly now looks like a team that came one magical Kawhi Leonard shot away from knocking off the eventual champs.
That reversal of fortune casts the Sixers’ offseason in a whole new light. Both Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris will enter free agency on June 30, and it seems likely that GM Elton Brand will prioritize retaining both of them this summer. The question, of course, is whether they’re willing to re-sign.
Harris had a chance to close the book on that question at the Steve Nash Foundation Showdown, a charity soccer tournament in New York City on Wednesday, as he and teammates Joel Embiid and T.J. McConnell were both on-hand for the event. At one point, Embiid asked him directly whether he plans on coming back to the Sixers, but Harris remained circumspect about his future.
Embiid and Harris were clearly having a blast as they hung out together for most of the event, with Embiid getting in on the action in the second half, while McConnell coached one of the squads.
Re-signing both Butler and Harris this offseason to max deals would push Philadelphia well beyond the luxury tax threshold, and keeping just one of them would open anywhere from $22 million to $30 million in cap space, plenty of room to build out the team’s roster. For now, we’ll just have to wait until the free agency moratorium begins at the end of the month to find out what the future has in story for Harris.