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July 01, 2024

Report: Tobias Harris leaving Sixers after nearly six years, will sign with Detroit Pistons

Tobias Harris has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Pistons, ending his disappointing Sixers tenure.

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Tobias leaves Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Tobias Harris' tumultuous Sixers tenure is over.

Tobias Harris' Sixers tenure has been marred by underwhelming numbers, disappointing playoff performances and frustrating what-ifs. Now, it is finally over.

According to a report from ESPN's Adrian Wojnaorwski, Harris has agreed to a two-year, $52 million contract with the Detroit Pistons.

The Sixers traded for Harris back at the 2019 NBA trade deadline, with promising rookie guard Landry Shamet and two first-round picks leading a pricey trade package to get Harris from the Los Angeles Clippers. His performance during the remainder of that season was decent but not meeting the expectations the Sixers had for him after his stellar beginning to the season in Los Angeles. 

You know what happened next: the Sixers lost to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors on the iconic (or traumatic) Game 7 buzzer-beating shot from Kawhi Leonard that bounced on the rim four times before dropping through the net and ending the Sixers' season. The team let Jimmy Butler walk and gave Harris a massive five-year, $180 million contract in hopes he could be their go-to perimeter scorer.

Harris was... not that. Over the course of his five full seasons in Philadelphia, the veteran forward came up short in crucial situations many more times than he rose to the occasion. His contract was so significant that the team was never capable of trading him; instead it was stuck with a player who failed to impact winning in many instances taking up an enormous portion of its salary cap. Harris made more money than all but 18 NBA players in 2023-24.

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Harris was not a bad player for his entire tenure in Philadelphia, though he often performed like one in crucial situations. Even when Harris peaked with the team during the 2020-21 season, he was not nearly good enough to justify his salary. In a league in which championship teams often come to fruition thanks to team-friendly contracts inked by role players, the Sixers were at a massive competitive disadvantage for five years, paying superstar money for subpar production.

The writing was very much on the wall from the minute the Sixers were eliminated from the 2024 NBA Playoffs in May — Harris fittingly went scoreless in that game — that his time in Philadelphia had come to an end. Now, it is just about official: Tobias Harris' time with the Sixers has come to an end.

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