It’s a matter of when the 76ers trade Ben Simmons, but they are reportedly trying to attach Tobias Harris to a deal.
Depending on the week, or even the day, the Philadelphia 76ers may or may not be close to trading Ben Simmons and a new rumored suitor may even emerge. On the new suitor front, the Atlanta Hawks have surfaced recently.
But there may be a fly Philadelphia is willingly adding to the ointment. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and Marc Spears, via RealGM, the 76ers are trying to attach Tobias Harris to a Simmons deal.
“I’m hearing they want to include Tobias Harris,” said Spears of Philadelphia’s trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks.
“Me too,” replied Windhorst.
“That is the word out there because they can’t necessarily get an All-Star they want in return right now, as the Sixers have continued their talks, they’ve talked to teams about trading Tobias and Ben.”
Spears added the Hawks had interest in a trade for Simmons, until the 76ers brought up including Harris.
The 76ers are hampering Simmons deal by trying to offload Tobias Harris
It’s fair to assume the Hawks are not the only team interested in Simmons that has balked at Harris being included in a deal. It’s not that Harris is a bad player, averaging 18.6 points per game this season — albeit on down shooting numbers (29.9 percent from 3-point range, 45.9 percent from the floor).
But Harris is in the midst of a five-year, $180 million contract. He’s making just under $36 million this year, followed by $37.63 million next season and $39.27 million in 2023-24. According to Spotrac, he also has a trade kicker that would be the lesser of five percent or $5 million.
It’s not a totally fresh idea, but Windhorst also reported speculation from executives that the 76ers offloading the money owed to Simmons and Harris could pave the way for a pursuit of James Harden in free agency. But trying to attach Harris to a Simmons deal seems to be the wrong approach.