The Philadelphia 76ers went through quite a few changes this offseason. After making a run to the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs last season, the team is looking to take the next step. Thankfully, Tobias Harris ended up re-signing with the team in free agency and will be a big part of that effort in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Harris hit the unrestricted free agent market this offseason and had quite a few teams interested in signing him. When everything was said and done, however, Harris opted to sign a five-year, $180 million to remain with the 76ers.
Jimmy Butler, on the other hand, decided to sign with the Miami Heat. The 76ers were able to work out a deal with Miami that sent Butler to South Beach in a sign-and-trade that netted them Josh Richardson. Yet another great pivot from general manager Elton Brand to acquire another supporting cast member.
During the 2018-19 season in the 27 games he played with Philadelphia, Harris ended up averaging 18.2 points per game to go along with 7.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists. He shot 46.9 percent from the field overall and knocked down 32.6 percent of his three-point attempts.
All of that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at three early bold predictions for Harris this coming season.
3. Harris Becomes A 39% Three-Point Shooter
Prior to being traded to the 76ers, Harris was shooting 43.4 percent from the three-point line with the Clippers. He struggled a bit in Philly and was unable to be the deep threat that the team needed him to be. That won’t be the case this season.
Harris won’t be a 40 percent three-point shooter with the role he will have, but he will come in just under that mark. Shooting 39 percent would be a major feat for the 76ers. Philadelphia needs shooting to help them deal with the loss of JJ Redick in free agency and Harris will help them do just that.
2. He Plays at Least 78 Regular Season Games
One of the biggest issues the 76ers have had in recent years has been the availability of their stars. Joel Embiid has struggled to stay on the court with his past of injury issues. Philadelphia will rely heavily on Harris and he will stay on the floor and come through for his team.
Harris will play in at least 78 regular season games. There may be a game or two that he’s banged up in and ends up getting a rest, or perhaps Brett Brown decides to use a game or two to give him a break. Even with those situations, Harris is only going to miss four games on the season.
1. Points Per Game Average Rises to 21
There is no question that Harris was worth the money that the 76ers gave him. He was not as dominant in Philadelphia as he was in L.A., but Harris is going to get back to what earned him that payday.
Harris will average at least 21 points per game this season after averaging 18.2 last year with the 76ers. He will be asked to be the team’s No. 2 scoring option behind Embiid, with Ben Simmons coming in as option 2B. If he reaches that level of offensive production, the 76ers are going to be a scary team in the East.