There have been rumors about the Knicks being interested in acquiring Tobias Harris. Would that be a mistake?
There has been a lot of speculation that the Knicks will be active in the trade market before the Feburary deadline. One of names that has been brought up in relation to a Knicks trade is Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris who the Knicks recently played against in their 119-112 loss on Christmas Day. According to sources, the Knicks were serious about trading for Harris before they went on their 8 game winning streak. Harris has proven to be an efficient wing player that can score from the perimeter and defend multiple positions.
The 11 year veteran is currently averaging around 16 PPG for a 76ers team that’s looking to be contenders in the Eastern Conference. Even though the Harris would be a solid addition for a lot of teams, the Knicks should not consider trading for him.
The first thing that the Knicks should think about when deciding to trade for Tobias Harris is the effect that it will have on the Knicks lineup. If Harris was acquired, he would likely be a starter for the Knicks at the small forward position. That would potentially move R.J Barrett to shooting guard and Quentin Grimes to the bench, assuming that he’s not involved in the trade. Grimes has excelled since being added into the starting lineup so moving him to the bench for Tobias Harris would only limit his potential.
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Also, with Barrett playing out of position at the 2, the Knicks would have a big lineup, which is something that you don’t want to do in a small ball league. Harris mainly plays the power forward position for the 76ers due to his ability to stretch the floor. That wouldn’t work for the Knicks with Julius Randle playing power forward. Since coming off the bench would most likely not be an option for Harris, it feels like he would be forced into a position that might not be best for the team going forward.
Finally, according to Harris’s contract, he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. If you are the Knicks, you don’t want to be in a position where he can potentially leave you for nothing. On the other hand, if he does want to stay with the team, it would have to be a short term contract. Signing Harris at age 32 to a long term deal wouldn’t be the best option especially if you are trying to build from the ground up like the Knicks are.
In the end, it just seems like trading for Tobias Harris wouldn’t really do much for the team in the short or long term. The Knicks aren’t in win now mode and it seems like they would have to let him go eventually to due to the downside of signing him long term.
Tobias Harris is the type of veteran that should be traded to a team that’s ready to contend and the Knicks are not one of those teams, which is why they shouldn’t consider making a trade for him.