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Odds Say 76ers Only Re-Sign Tobias Harris, Not Jimmy Butler in 2019-20

Jimmy Butler at the ESPYS
Jimmy Butler could be on the move again. Photo by Disney | ABC Television (flickr) [CC License]
  • Who will 76ers retain of their new Big 4?
  • BetOnline believes Tobias Harris is more likely than Jimmy Butler to re-up in Philly
  • What is the best bet to make here?

Move over, Process. There’s a new, polar opposite hombre in town: disorder. 

Talk about a shakeup in Philly, where the Sixers went all in, trading a massive haul to land Tobias Harris. 

Even before Harris had landed in the City of Brotherly Love, and fans could revel in the best starting five in basketball outside of Golden State, we’re already at the next destination for the 76ers’ newest soon-to-be free agents.

Can they retain Harris and Jimmy Butler?

BetOnline has their candidate on the outs come season’s end.

Who Will 76ers Re-Sign for Next Season?

Who Will the 76ers Re-Sign for the 2019-20 Season? Odds at BetOnline (02/06/19)
Tobias Harris Only +150
Jimmy Butler Only +200
Both +250
Neither +400

Harris Adds Size, Shooting to Lineup

Harris is one the NBA’s less heralded stars, a 6’9” forward with guard skills, who averaged 20.9 points and 7.9 rebounds with the Clippers. The 26-year-old is knocking down a career-high 43.4% from beyond the arc.

Philly now has an end-game lineup to run a Ben Simmons-Joel Embiid pick and roll as its starting movement, with the ability to slide into lethal secondary action with Butler or Harris with the basketball.

This Better Work… or Else

Now, the sobering stuff. Philly gave up Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, promising rookie Landry Shamet, and a bevy of draft capital – including an unprotected 2021 first-round draft pick – for two players who can sign anywhere they want when this season is over.

This is about as all-in that you can go if you’re the 76ers, but do these moves even make them the overwhelming favorite … in the East?

The addition of Butler has been a (mostly) positive, with the Sixers going 21-11 in the 32 games he has played, and 4-3 when he’s been inactive. He’s averaging 18.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists, while shooting 36.6% from deep. He has already proven to be a big shot maker in clutch moments, but one thing his arrival hasn’t done is vault Philly to the top of the East.

His rep has also taken a dive after ugly endings in Chicago and Minnesota, and early run-ins on his newest team. Harris may take pressure off Butler to deliver, but if the 76ers surge, GM Elton Brand may want to reconsider a max deal for Butler, as this team could possibly be in the same current position if they still had Covington and Saric.

No matter how this all plays out, Butler and Harris could still seek being the (highly-paid) man somewhere else. There are no less than a half-dozen teams flush with cap space.

With a shallow free agent pool, teams will pay and offer a better basketball situation than third wheel to Simmons and Embiid.

What’s the Best Bet Here?

Depth is king in the NBA right now, and after that killer top five, the Sixers will miss a bench in the playoffs, resulting in a disappointing end. At that point, Philly can’t possibly have opened the war chest assets and have nothing to show for it.

Harris’ game, in theory, fits better than Butler’s, and he’s also three years younger. If they had to choose one, it should be Harris.

But both these moves are “Process” driven, and these are the best pieces the franchise has at currently claiming a chip, so I wouldn’t blame you hedging they keep both.

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