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Tobias Harris explains why he passed up on extension this summer

Tobias Harris, Clippers

L.A. Clippers forward Tobias Harris turned down a four-year, $80 million contract extension in late July, despite finally having landed with a team that will feature him as the team’s leading scorer.

Harris finally was able to shed the shadow of a bigger star, as he was under bigger names with the Orlando Magic and the Detroit Pistons before being shipped to L.A. halfway through the season in the trade that brought Blake Griffin to The Motor City. Yet it was the New York native’s desire to bet on himself, which made him wait one more year to get his.

“For myself and my representation, we looked at it. We did really process it to make that decision,” said Tobias Harris, according to Jovan Buha of The Athletic. “At the end of the day, it is $80 million. But for me, it’s more of going out and earning what my value is. It has nothing to do with me figuring out what the Clippers are doing or things like that.”

“No, I love the whole organization. I love the team. I hope this relationship that we have is long-lasting. But it’s more of just on myself as a player, just pushing myself to see where I’m at at the end of the year. And we’ll go from there. That’s where it was. Both sides, we talked about it and both sides had really good dialogue on that. So it wasn’t nothing. We really were thankful that offer was there.”

The offer served as a sign of appreciation, but ultimately fell short of a potential five-year, $188 million max contract with the Clippers or a four-year, $145.5 million deal with a different team, which makes a major difference for his future.

Harris is looking to earn that massive bill with his play this season, now undoubtedly the No. 1 go-to option on offense, able to display the full array of his skills.