The New York Knicks got a first-hand view of Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris in their loss to the conference rivals on Christmas Day. The high-priced wing scored a mere eight points on 4-of-10 shooting for Philadelphia.
This matchup comes amid renewed talks that New York is going to hit the trade market hard ahead of the February deadline. According to Ian Begley of SNY, that could include targeting Harris in a trade with the 76ers.
“One thing worth noting on the trade front, the Knicks have at least talked internally about the idea of acquiring Tobias Harris via trade before their winning streak started,” report on Knicks’ interest in Harris (h/t Philly Voice). “I know that he does have some fans in the organization.”
It’s not necessarily a surprise that Harris’ name has been brought up in trade talks. He was on the block leading up to last season’s deadline and during the summer. Though, a lot of that had to do with Philadelphia putting feelers out there due to his high salary.
- Tobias Harris contract: 5 years, $180 million; free agent after 2023-24
As for what we’ve seen from the 30-year-old Harris, he’s solid player. But by no means are we talking about a star deserving of the contract mentioned above. Thus far this season, the former first-round pick from Tennessee is averaging 16.7 points and 6.2 rebounds on 49% shooting from the field. That includes a 41% mark from distance.
New York Knicks trade for Tobias Harris would be complicated
At 18-16 on the season, New York’s roster construction is iffy at best. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has struggled with the rotation. This came out in droves in New York’s third consecutive defeat on Christmas Day. It also came after the team ran off a surprising eight-game winning streak.
Wing Cam Reddish has found himself out of the rotation. There’s been talk that Immanuel Quickley could be dealt ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Meanwhile, Julius Randle has been as inconsistent as we saw during his down 2021-22 campaign.
As for a potential trade with Philadelphia, rival teams rarely pull off a deal of this ilk. Perhaps, the 76ers view their roster as being too top-heavy with Joel Embiid and James Harden leading the charge.
In that scenario, front office head Daryl Morey might want to add more depth to the mix. Would the likes of Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose and Reddish be enough to get this done? Despite the contracts matching in a potential deal for Harris, it stands to reason that Philadelphia might want more.
What we do know is that the New York Knicks are actively looking to find the right mix behind star free-agent signing Jalen Brunson. If they offer up someone like Quickley to get this done, it might be worth Philadelphia’s while.
As it stands, there’s every reason to believe New York will be active over the next six weeks or so ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Whether that includes acquiring Tobias Harris from Philadelphia remains to be seen.