Former $180 million star should turn to Warriors to rehabilitate free agent value

Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers
Golden State Warriors v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Golden State Warriors veteran Klay Thomson will have to prepare himself for a sizable pay cut this off-season, but he's far from the only free agent whose value has taken a significant hit in the last 12 months.

Thompson's annual salary could halve from the $43.3 million he made this season, yet that may be nowhere near the sort of reduction Philadelphia 76ers' forward Tobias Harris may have to accept in free agency.

The Golden State Warriors could prove the perfect destination for free agent forward Tobias Harris to rehabilitate his value next season

In the final season of a five-year, $180 million contract, Harris averaged 17.2 points on 48.7% shooting from the floor. While they were decent numbers, the playoffs turned into a horror show for Harris who's scoring reduced to nine points per game on 43.1% from the field in the 76er's six-game first-round defeat to the New York Knicks.

After making $39.3 million this season, Harris' value is hard to judge heading into free agency. A team with cap space could still offer him in excess of $15 million per season, while Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus believes he may be obtainable for as low as the minimum.

"Harris may be one of the hardest players on the list to rank. At 32 in July, he's heading for a sizable pay cut, possibly as low as the minimum. The issue is that his age and skill set may not fit most teams with money to spend. Perhaps he doesn't belong this high on the list, but dropping a 17.2 point-per-game scorer off the top 30 is also difficult."

Eric Pincus

Still only 31-years-old, Harris should believe himself capable of garnering at least one more big NBA contract. However, his best pathway to doing that may be to take a lower contract at a team that can provide him with the opportunity to impact winning, which would help rehabilitate his value ahead of another crack at free agency in 12 months time.

In Otto Porter Jr. and Donte DiVincenzo, the Warriors have proved they can provide an environment where that's possible. Golden State need more shooting in the front court, something Harris could provide as a career 36.8% from beyond the arc. With Andrew Wiggins potentially on the trade market, and so much uncertainty surrounding much of the Warrior roster, perhaps a starting role may even open up for the 6'8" forward.

Harris would have to sign for what would likely be the taxpayer mid-level exception, but perhaps that's more realistic than one would initially think for someone of his capability. Even if the 13-year veteran is set on signing another reasonable contract, it's certainly worth an exploration from Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Warrior front office.