The Philadelphia 76ers reportedly have hired Doc Rivers to replace Brett Brown as the organization’s head coach.
Undoubtedly, a major reason general manager Elton Brand decided to go with Rivers is because he feels the NBA champion coach can help maximize the potential of younger stars like Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
But the reality is that Rivers’ arrival may benefit someone else even more — Tobias Harris.
Harris and Rivers are familiar with one another already.
Rivers coached Harris for 87 games during portions of two different seasons (2017-2019) with the Los Angeles Clippers. It came after Rivers and the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons for Harris at the trade deadline.
The two had success together, too.
Harris averaged 20.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and shot 42.6% from 3-point range and 48.7% from the field during his time with Rivers’ Clippers. All four were career highs for the 2011 first-rounder.
Harris’ averages decreased when he got to Philadelphia. He’s recorded 19.2 points, an identical 7.2 rebounds while shooting 35.6% from long range and 47.1% from the field during his 99 games with the 76ers.
Harris did not live up to the five-year, $180 million extension which he signed last offseason with his 2020 campaign. But could he look like the player who earned that extension under Rivers?
It’s definitely a possibility.