Restricted Free Agent Tobias Harris Must Be Kept By The Magic Whatever The Cost
The Magic must match any Tobias Harris offer this summer. Orlando must keep him whatever the cost. Don’t over-think it.
Harris is a super offensive player. He can post up, he can drive the ball, and he can shoot the 3. He’s averaged 16.2 ppg and 6.9 rebounds per game in a Magic uniform. He’s only 22 years old! The Magic were the 25th ranked offensive team in the league this past season. They were even more putrid with him on the bench. The defense can clearly be better, but again, let’s focus on the really good things.
Even the most aggressive teams will not come up with a number too high for the Magic to match. Consider recent solid players taken in previous draft classes and the money they earned when they got to restricted free agency.
2008 NBA Draft class
#10 overall Brook Lopez 4 years- $61 million
#17 overall Roy Hibbert 4 years- $58 million
#24 overall Serge Ibaka 4 years- $49 million
#25 overall Nic Batum 4 years- $46 million
2009 NBA Draft class
#9 overall DeMar Derozan 4 years- $38 million
#17 overall Jrue Holiday 4 years- $41 million
#18 overall Ty Lawson 4 years- $48 million
#19 overall Jeff Teague 4 years- $32 million
2010 NBA Draft class
#9 overall Gordon Hayward 4 years- $63 million
#10 overall Paul George 5 years- $92 million
#18 overall Eric Bledsoe 5 years- $70 million
#19 overall Avery Bradley 4 years- $32 million
Any of that is reasonable. Yes, any of it. The Magic don’t have mega cash commitments or issues right now to handicap them, and the best news is they won’t in the future either.
The salary cap was $63 million this year and it is going UP. And I mean, WAY UP.
New salary cap projections sent out to NBA teams: 2015-16: 67.1 million, tax 81.6, 2016-17: 89 million, tax 108. 2017-18: 108, 127 tax
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 17, 2015
Further projections sent out: 2018-19: 100 million salary cap, 121 tax , 2019-20: 102 salary cap, 124 tax, 2020-2021:107 salary cap, 130 tax — Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) April 17, 2015
What looks big now will look very tiny very soon. Some of the all-star/borderline all-stars will be making what the super stars are making (say $20 million annually) and super stars are going to make $30 million a season.
Tobias Harris will be 23 on July 15th. He’s still a kid and putting up fantastic offensive numbers. He’s not perfect, but the Magic can’t afford to let talent walk out the door for nothing. Whether it’s a reasonable $12 million annually or what seems obscene at $15 million per year, they must match. When you’re bad, you don’t have the luxury of trying to make every piece fit perfectly, you have to be a playoff team before you start worrying about “perfect” fits.
The Magic will hope the offer is in the 4-$48 range, but must match it even if another team makes a Paul George type of offer. In the long run, it won’t look bad and with Harris’ continued improvement may even become a bargain.