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The Orlando Magic had until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 31, to extend Tobias Harris’ rookie contract. However, the two sides failed to reach an agreement. Harris is now set to become a restricted free agent during the offseason.
While it’s no surprise the Magic went down this route with Harris, it makes matters more difficult when it comes to retaining him in the future.
Prior to his arrival in Orlando, Harris was a non-factor for a sub-.500 Milwaukee Bucks team. He only played in 42 games as a rookie in 2011-12 (averaging 11.4 minutes per game) and didn’t see his minutes increase as a sophomore in 2012-13. But after being traded to the Magic at the deadline in the J.J. Redick deal in February 2013, Harris showcased what he could be, putting up gaudy averages of 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest in 36.1 minutes per game.
The Magic were hoping Harris would build upon that success in 2013-14 and emerge as one of the stars on their young, inexperienced roster, but his season got off to a shaky start while he recovered from a high ankle sprain. As the season wore on, Harris struggled to get back into form and never found his feet.
For that reason, the Magic don’t have a large sample size to base what Harris truly brings to the team. He’s proven he can carry the team offensively on any given night, but consistency is lacking. He flaunted off the ability to stretch the floor when he first came to Orlando, but he connected on only 25.4 percent of his 3s last season. And although he’s spent the bulk of his minutes as a power forward, it remains to be seen what his “true position” is.