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The Philadelphia 76ers are one win away from their first Eastern Conference Finals appearance since 2001, and the two-headed monster of Joel Embiid and James Harden is the main reason why. Embiid is averaging 27.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per game against the Boston Celtics, and Harden scored 45 points in Game 1 and 42 points in Game 4 to lead the Sixers to victories in both.

Meanwhile, Tobias Harris has scored just 68 points in the first six games of the series, and he scored a measly two points in Philadelphia’s crushing Game 6 loss at home.

Guess which player the Sixers are paying the most money to this season.

Tobias Harris makes more money than Joel Embiid and James Harden

Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris argue on the court.
Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers talk during a game against the Washington Wizards | Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The 76ers are paced by two superstars in Joel Embiid and James Harden, but that’s not reflected on the team’s balance sheet.

For the 2022-23 season, Embiid will make a total of $34,466,770. Harden, after taking a pay cut in the offseason, will make $33,000,000. Those figures rank 20th and 28th in the NBA this year, respectively, per Spotrac.

Yet, neither Embiid nor Harden is the highest-paid player on the Sixers. That label belongs to Tobias Harris.

Harris signed a five-year, $180 million extension in 2019. The forward will make $37,633,050 this season, which is the highest mark on the team and the 13th-highest in the league. Playing under one of the richest contracts in the sport, Harris averaged 14.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.

In the second-round playoff series against the Celtics, Harris has reached double-digit points just three times in six games. He mustered an embarrassing two points on 1-of-7 shooting in Game 6, a game the 76ers could’ve won if he simply put up a mediocre performance.

The Sixers can’t win Game 7 without Tobias Harris

Harris may not be living up to his $180 million price tag, but he’s still a crucial piece to Philadelphia’s chances of knocking off Boston in Game 7. He’s the best perimeter defender in the starting lineup, and his rebounding is needed with Embiid protecting the rim as well as he has in this series.

But it doesn’t matter how well Harris defends and rebounds if he’s going to be such a non-factor on the offensive side of the ball. Embiid and Harden command double teams in the halfcourt, and that opens up space for Harris to knock down threes or drive the paint. He simply must take advantage of those openings if the 76ers are going to win Game 7.

If they don’t, Harris and the $39.2 million left on his contract are going to find a new home this offseason.


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