POP Season Preview: Tobias Will Have a Huge Impact on Detroit’s Success
Tobias Harris was on the Pistons radar last offseason. But, he was a restricted free agent, so the Magic had control of his situation. They decided to hand him a 4 year/$54 million deal and then ship him to Detroit at the trade deadline for two expiring contracts (both players off the team.) Makes sense right? Obviously, the Pistons won this trade, adding to the growing list of great under the radar moves by President Stan Van Gundy.
Harris, who struggled mightily in he first half of the season with Orlando, picked it up with Detroit during the stretch run, averaging over 16.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists on a very efficient 48/38/91 shooting split. Harris’ shooting efficiency in Detroit was a major benefit to his success. He shot below 35% from the three-point line before getting to Detroit, but his 38% from deep as a Piston made Detroit’s offense much more lethal. Harris needs to shoot the ball well to be a legitimate floor spacer. He did so in the 2nd half of last season with Detroit, and he needs to do so again this upcoming season. Arguably the X-factor that pushed the Pistons into the playoffs last year, he should be an even more crucial part of the team, now having better chemistry with his teammates and a summer to work on his game.
When Harris is at his best, he plays at the level of a fringe all-star player, and has even brought his lackluster defense from “terrible” to “manageable”, which is a big step up considering that was his biggest weakness early in career. Tobias gave the Pistons offensive versatility that Ersan Ilyasova, whose spot he took in the lineup, couldn’t provide for the up and coming Detroit team. Not only does Tobias provide the team with that, but he also has a few more seasons before he hits his physical prime, being only 23. This means his game is not done growing. He can continue to improve his defense, ad work on aspects of his offensive game, such as playing in the pick and roll and isolation situations.
Harris has been working hard this offseason, as he has posted numerous times on Twitter and Instagram that he has been in the gym perfecting his game.
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Every day is a chance to grow and better develop yourself! My last workout in NY with my bro @blasiansocietypresident all summer, same place, same time, we've been grinding for this upcoming year. Got to give a huge shout out for your professionalism and your desire to help me be the best I can!! Surround yourself with people that want it just as bad as you do, then go out and make it happen!
Tobias will be looking to duplicate his fantastic second half for a whole campaign, and his contributions will show on the Pistons record. He is a great 3rd option for the soon-to-be contending Pistons, and as unlikely as it may seem, he could even slide in as an all-star reserve. (maybe with Reggie Jackson?) Either way, what Tobias does on the court this upcoming season will have a massive impact on just how good these new look Pistons can become.
Featured Image via: Mike Mulholland/MLive.com