According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers forward Tobias Harris will not be playing for USA Basketball this summer. The news comes days after Ben Simmons pulled out of the FIBA games where he had considered playing for his home-country’s Australian National team. Simmons, who recently signed a max contract extension, wanted to focus on the upcoming season for the Sixers. It sounds like some of Philadelphia’s most important players who are now signed for the long-haul, are prioritizing their upcoming NBA season before anything else. Harris signed a 5 year $180m contract back in June to stay in Philly.
It should be music to fans’ ears. While plenty of people would have enjoyed the idea of seeing both Simmons and Harris play ball this summer, something that the Sixers were missing this past season was an opportunity to truly mesh on the court because of all the roster turnover during the season. While there are more changes this summer also (like losing Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick and bringing on Al Horford and Josh Richardson) the Sixers being able to devote a portion of this summer to not only resting, but developing chemistry will be an important variable in their quest to win a championship.
Recently some big name players like Bradley Beal, James Harden, and Zion Williamson also withdrew from the upcoming summer games.