The Orlando Magic are not expected to match a maximum-level contract offer to Tobias Harris, reports Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Harris is a restricted free agent, but the Magic may be reluctant to commit huge money to him after drafting Mario Hezonja with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He could fill a need at small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, and the team has been linked to him prior to free agency officially opening.
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The Lakers are focused on frontcourt players in the first 24 hours of free agency, meeting with LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe and DeAndre Jordan. The trio may represent their three top priorities, but Harris could be a very attainable player for Los Angeles. Tobias turns 23 in July, making him a young talent that could develop with the Lakers' new core featuring Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson and D'Angelo Russell. He's also coming off of a career-year with Orlando, averaging 17.1 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from three-point range.
Harris qualifies for the "small" maximum-contract, representing 25 percent of the salary cap. That should be somewhere in the ballpark of $16 million per year, depending on the final salary numbers the league sets. It's an expensive price for talent, but he's still very young and the free agent wing market has been moving fast (and lucratively) thus far.
He could be a corner-3 specialist for the Lakers with good size for play either forward position, talent on offense, and potential to mine. Here's a look at Harris' shot chart, via Shot Analytics:
Harris could be lower on the Lakers list of meetings because of his restricted status. If Tobias signs an offer sheet outside of Orlando, the Magic will have three days to match or lose him with no return. Several teams have placed a call for his services already, reports Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders.