Multiple reports indicate Utah Jazz's interest in one of NBA's top free agents

Two reports from insiders have indicated that the Jazz want Tobias Harris. The question is, for how much?
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five
Philadelphia 76ers v New York Knicks - Game Five / Elsa/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz will have over $35 million in cap space this summer. As exciting as it is to have that much money free to offer any free agent, they need to use it wisely. Knowing the Jazz's current position, they are walking a tightrope.

A talent upgrade would be nice, but if it's not nice enough that the playoffs are from a guarantee, it's obviously not worth it.

That brings us to the Jazz's next reported free agent target: Tobias Harris. Since the offseason started, there have been two reports from people on the inside revealing the Jazz's interest in Harris. First was Bleacher Report's Chris Haynes, who said the following:

“Utah, Detroit, San Antonio, Dallas, and New Orleans. Dallas and New Orleans, those will probably have to be sign-and-trade-type scenarios. Those are teams that I’m hearing that are expected to have some level of interest in Tobias Harris this summer.”

SNY's Ian Begley confirmed their interest too along with another suitor that Haynes mentioned.

"Currently, the Mavs and Jazz are among the teams with Harris on their offseason radar."

Haynes added that the Mavericks would have to pull a few strings to get Harris on the team, which would make it easier for the Jazz to get a deal done since they have the open cap space. If they do, the question is, what kind of deal do they give Harris.

Evaluating Tobias Harris as an option

Utah has the reputation for not being a free agent destination, but they have been successful in free agency in recent years. If Harris signs there, he'd be their biggest free agent acquisition since Bojan Bogdanovic (I'm not counting Collin Sexton because he was a sign-and-trade in a blockbuster for Donovan Mitchell).

Harris has clearly proven that for all the good he brings to the court, he's not a star. Even sadder, he's been paid like a superstar for the last five years. This led to plenty of scrutiny during his time with Philadelphia that Sixers fans had been counting down the days before it finally expired, dating back to even before the 2020s started.

Not that the criticism that came his way wasn't warranted, but it's not Harris' fault the Sixers paid him $180 million. Anyone in that situation would take the money the first chance they get. Knowing how underwhelming he was knowing what he was paid, the Jazz likely won't make the same mistake if these reports prove true.

Committing that much money in the long term to Harris is a disaster waiting to happen. The Sixers justified it then, believing they had a contender on their hands. The Jazz aren't in the same position, but Harris could be useful as long as the Jazz keep their expectations in check and as long as the contract they hypothetically sign him to doesn't get in the way of their cap flexibility.

Chad Porto named Harris No. 4 as free agents who make the most sense with the Jazz. Adding him wouldn't make it likelier that the Jazz make the playoffs, but he could be another step in the right direction. That is, as long as the Jazz don't tie up too much of their money to him.