The Orlando Magic aren’t likely to match an offer sheet for Tobias Harris, a restricted agent seeking a maximum contract this offseason and while other teams might not be inclined to offer him that much, he’s picking up a lot of interest, especially from the Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks.
Harris and the Magic couldn’t come to an agreement about an extension last season, with the hybrid forward asking for around $11 million a season while the Magic were looking to give him a lot less. After his best season yet in his short career, averaging 17.1 points per game when he wasn’t struggling with an ankle injury, Harris is looking for something closer to $15 million a season.
It’s hard to find a free agent not looking for a max contract this offseason, but teams might be a bit more inclined to overpay players in the summer of 2015 when in 2016, a huge year for free agency (Kevin Durant on top of that list) the salary cap is supposed to receive a $22 million raise. Suddenly, paying someone $15 million a season doesn’t sound like such a cap killer anymore.
Harris can play both power forward and small forward. He has range (shot 36.4% from beyond the arc last season) but he doesn’t shy away from slashing and attacking the basket. The Magic selecting Mario Hezonja is the NBA Draft (5th overall pick) might mean they’re ready to move on from Harris, unwilling to pay him the kind of money he’s asking for.
For all the teams mentioned above he could be of great help, although he probably would make the most sense on the Pistons and Lakers. Whether or not Harris actually gets the kind of offers he’s hoping for, or maybe we’ll head into a situation in which the Magic try to sign him on a lower long term deal while Harris contemplates taking the qualifying offer, remains to be seen.