The 2015 NBA Draft is over. The Detroit Pistons selected small forward Stanley Johnson in with the 8th overall pick. But the Pistons do not expect Johnson to start this year, and maybe not next. Instead, they will be pursuing free agent small forwards beginning July 1st. News is already on the Twitterverse.
RealGM Sources: Orlando restricted free agent Tobias Harris pursues near-max offer; Detroit, Boston leading suitors. http://t.co/a0iP2wQ8yx— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2015
(H/T bball4224 who had it first in the comments)
Harris has played in the league for four years split between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic. While he was efficient in Milwaukee, he has blossomed since moving to Orlando. His averages last year were 17.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1 steal a game in 34.8 minutes played. He shot 46.6-percent from the field, 36.4-percent from distance (career best), and 78.8-percent from the charity stripe. This would fit the mold of a starting small forward that Stan Van Gundy is looking for.
But could those be contract year numbers? His overall field goal percentages remained similar over his last four years, but he did shoot just 25.4-percent from distance the year before last. His rebounding numbers actually went down, but other than that, all other stats are relatively similar. He has shot around 14 shots per 36 for his career with three of those being from distance. Is that efficient enough for Van Gundy?
Harris presents same issue as Draymond Green. Sitting around waiting 72 hours while guys you can get are snapped up. There is interest, tho.— Vincent Ellis (@Vincent_Ellis56) June 26, 2015
However, he is still a restricted free agent. Though we could tender him a max offer, the Magic will have 72 hours to match that offer. There have been just as many speculations that they will as there have been that they won't. With Reggie Jackson's cap and Anthony Tolliver's guaranteed contract, the Pistons have around $19 million to spend. This would be enough to pay Harris the $15 million he's looking for and have enough to find a backup center. But do we want to tie up our money for three days while there are other, just as likely qualified unrestricted free agents available?