Joel Embiid puts on full-court press to recruit Tobias Harris back to Philadelphia

The Philadelphia 76ers have a big offseason ahead of them with in-season additions Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris hitting free agency, and star center Joel Embiid is looking for answers.

Both Embiid and Harris were attending the Steve Nash Showdown — a charity soccer match in New York City — on Wednesday, when Harris fielded questions from reporters. Embiid made sure to sneak one in at the end.

While Harris didn’t give an answer about his future, he’s turning out to be one of the more popular under-the-radar free agents. The Utah Jazz had interest until they traded for Mike Conley, and he could be a fall-back option for the Brooklyn Nets if they can’t land Kevin Durant.

Harris hasn’t made an All-Star team yet, but he played like one last season. He averaged a career-high 20.0 points per game with 7.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 39.7 percent shooting from beyond three.

Can the 76ers keep Harris and Butler?

The 76ers went all-in last season when they traded for Butler and Harris, and the question remains whether they have the appetite to keep both on max or near-max contracts. That may be affordable for now, but Ben Simmons will soon need a giant deal of his own.

Philadelphia owns the Bird Rights to both players — as well as the Early Bird Rights to fellow starter JJ Redick — so they have the ability to go over the cap to sign each player.

Harris has a vested interest in staying beyond having the opportunity to stay on one of the East’s best teams. The 76ers can offer him $188 million over five years, compared to $141 over four years for any other team.

Philly only got to use the starting lineup of Simmons, Redick, Butler, Harris and Embiid 21 times last season, so there’s reason to believe more time to gel can help that get past the second round of the playoffs.

The 76ers also gave up a ton to just let both players go. They sent a pair of first round picks and Landry Shamet to the Los Angeles Clippers for Harris and Dario Saric and Robert Covington to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Butler.

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Philadelphia 76ers' Jimmy Butler in action during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
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Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris in action during the first half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
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Boston Celtics' Al Horford in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors in action against the LA Clippers during Game Two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on April 15, 2019 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 12: Marc Gasol #33 of the Toronto Raptors reacts during Game Seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers at Scotiabank Arena on May 12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Milwaukee Bucks' Brook Lopez reacts after making a three-point basket during the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Detroit Pistons Sunday, April 14, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Indiana Pacers forward Bojan Bogdanovic brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, April 3, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Philadelphia 76ers' JJ Redick reacts during the second half of Game 3 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Toronto Raptors, Thursday, May 2, 2019, in Philadelphia. 76ers won 116-95. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) brings the ball upcourt against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 28, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Sacramento Kings' Harrison Barnes (40) walks up court during an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Milwaukee Bucks' Malcolm Brogdon during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers Thursday, March 7, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Toronto Raptors' Danny Green in action during the second half of Game 4 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, Sunday, May 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. Raptors won 101-96. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Milwaukee Bucks' Nikola Mirotic shoots a free throw during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets Saturday, March 9, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, right, shoots as Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 23, 2019. Portland won 117-112. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)
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New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 28, 2019. The Pelicans won 121-118. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
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Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) brings the ball up court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley celebrates during the second half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
New York Knicks center DeAndre Jordan reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) reacts after shooting a three pointer during the second half of an NBA basketball game agains the Phoenix Suns on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019, in Miami, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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