Could the Sacramento Kings lure former trade target Tobias Harris?

Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages

The Sacramento Kings have had interest in free agent wing Tobias Harris in the past. The Action Network's Matt Moore reported back in January that the Kings were among the teams interested in acquiring Harris.

"Tobias Harris, as it ever was, is the name often considered to be the main salary centerpiece of a deal. Given Indiana and Sacramento's interest in small forward upgrades, the possibility of a multi-team deal involving Harris is notable," Moore wrote.

Now, of course, that ultimately didn't go anywhere. At the same time, stringing together a trade for Harris would have been difficult, given his expensive contract. Needless to say, the $180 million the Sixers paid him over the last five years made him one of the NBA's worst albatross contracts in recent memory.

But now, that's no longer a problem. Harris will enter free agency in an offseason with very few teams who have money to spend. Better yet, there aren't that many good teams with money to spend. Even the ones that do - Philadelphia and Orlando (coincidentally, teams that he's played for) - probably don't want to spend it on Harris.

It's possible Harris could get big money from a team with the cap flexibility to add him, but that remains to be seen. The Kings may not have that cap flexibility, but they have the non-taxpayer MLE to offer him. If Harris can't find much better offers on the open market

Indications are the 76ers won't keep Tobias Harris

Harris' tenure with the Sixers was turbulent, to say the least. He was subject to much scrutiny from the moment he signed his name on the dotted line in 2019. To make a long story short, Harris was miscast as he was paid like a superstar despite not being close to one.

The Sixers have the cap space to keep Harris, but The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey expressed his doubts about the Sixers' chances of keeping Harris in a May 10 mailbag.

“I’ll never say never, but it would be shocking to see Harris return,” Pompey wrote. “As one of the top free agents, he’ll have plenty of suitors willing to pay him more than what the Sixers intend to offer him. With that said, I strongly believe Harris’ tenure in Philly is over.”

The underrated benefit of adding Harris

With the non-taxpayer mid-level exception of $13 million to offer, that would be a significant pay decrease compared to what Harris has seen enter his bank account for the last five years. Are the odds of bringing in Harris in the Kings' favor? Probably not, but until the bigger dominos like Paul George and Klay Thompson fall, Harris mustn't be an afterthought.

The Kings were named among the five most likely teams to sign the swing scorer this coming offseason. Even if there haven't been any recent reports linking the two sides together, there is a scenario where he could end up in Sacto - an unlikely one, but valid nonetheless.

Should the Kings beat the odds, getting Harris for such a low cost would grant them the ability to trade Harrison Barnes and/or Kevin Huerter in a deal for a potential upgrade. Harris may not necessarily be better than those two—that's an eye-of-the-beholder discussion—but his production would be good enough that replacing one or both of them wouldn't be much of a problem.

The Kings are coming off a season where they were on the very precipice of making their second consecutive playoff appearance. Harris is not too big of a gamechanger who would vault them into contention. At the same time, adding him at a discounted price could lay the foundation for them to go one step further.