According to Tony Jones of The Athletic, Tobias Harris still has a strong interest in playing for the Utah Jazz. Likewise there’s a strong interest from the Utah Jazz in Tobias Harris.
I’ll provide the link when I get home, but Tobias indeed has a strong interest in coming to Utah https://t.co/TmGDBZCrLe— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 22, 2019
Let me clarify one thing. Yes, Tobias has strong interest in the Jazz. Yes the jazz have strong interest in Tobias. Still, the Conley trade makes a marriage unlikely, financially. Very unlikely— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) June 22, 2019
While Utah’s dream scenario would be to land Mike Conley and Tobias Harris in the same offseason, it is a LONG shot of epic proportions. There’s a lot that would have to go into it. Here’s how it could happen.
Tobias is willing to take less money than the $32.7MM max and sign him into cap space
Tobias Harris can make as much as $32.7MM/yr on a max salary. If Utah is able to find takers for Tony Bradley and Dante Exum’s contracts while renouncing the rights to Derrick Favors and Raul Neto, they could conceivably land Tobias Harris. This is probably the biggest long shot scenario. Tobias Harris’ next chance at a contract would be at age 30 so he’s wanting to maximize his payout during his prime.
However, Utah may be able to convince him to sign a shorter term deal so he’s able to hit free agency again when he’s 28 and potentially earn more money with another raise. That is also a big long shot.
Sign and trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for Tobias Harris
This one is an even longer longshot. Utah would have to trade Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, and Tony Bradley to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Tobias Harris. That would allow them to sign him to an even greater max deal—5 years—and give him the full amount of the max. If Utah wants to do this type of deal, there’d probably need to be a third team as Philadelphia most likely would not want to go into development mode.
The reason it’s such a long shot is why would Philadelphia be motivated to do this? They would know Utah wouldn’t have enough cap space to sign Tobias Harris outright unless they severely compromised their depth by trading Joe Ingles. Or they could even try to pry Joe Ingles from Utah during the trade. If Tobias Harris was dead set on coming to Utah I think Utah may even be tempted to do something, but once again ... we’re dealing with a lot of what ifs.
At this point it feels like we’re dealing with NBA2K transactions rather than real NBA deals. Except there’s no overriding opposing GMs’ decisions.
It would surprise me if Utah was able to pull in Tobias Harris, but after Utah went so aggressively for 2nd round picks while giving the reason that they could have a lot of roster spots available this upcoming season, maybe there’s more to the idea that Tobias Harris may sign in Utah than we realize.