Orlando Magic general manager Rob Hennigan insists that the franchise intends on re-signing forward Tobias Harris “no matter what” this summer.
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Harris has averaged 17 points and 6.3 rebounds in 34.8 minutes per game this season and has established himself as a key player for the Magic.
Given his free agency situation though, he has also attracted interest from around the league and it is expected that he won’t be short of offers this coming summer.
Harris will be a restricted free agent this off-season, but according to Hennigan the Magic will do whatever it takes to ensure that they bring him back for next year.
“Magic GM Rob Hennigan says the club ‘intends’ to bring back F Tobias Harris – a restricted free agent – ‘no matter what’ the cost this summer. At $15 mill per year? Seeing is believing,” the Orlando Sentinel reports.
With the salary cap rise coming into force next year, it is a strategy that is expected across the league with teams securing deals with players now in order to avoid paying over the odds next summer.
However, this could also be part of another strategy to put interested teams off by insisting that they would be wasting their time trying to sign Harris as the Magic will just match them and prevent their player from agreeing to a new deal elsewhere.
Having passed on giving the 22-year-old a new contract last summer, it remains to be seen whether or not Orlando are committed to changing their stance this year and it is reported that the New York Knicks could be amongst the interested teams.