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Lewis: Expect lots of competition for Joe Harris

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Brooklyn Nets v Toronto Raptors - Game One Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Joe Harris has said all the right things about the Nets. Sean Marks has said all the right things about Joe Harris. Joe Tsai has said all the right things about paying the luxury tax.

But all that said, Harris is likely to command a lot of offers from around the league ... and maybe around the city, as Brian Lewis writes Wednesday.

“He ticks a lot of boxes for any team,” said a league source.

The first is 3-point shooting. The league’s second-best shooter over the past three seasons, Harris could be courted not only by teams with plenty of cash and no shooting (Knicks, Hawks) but in sign-and-trades as well.

The Nets of course have Bird Rights on Harris and can pay him any amount up to the max and not have to worry about the salary cap. The issue is the luxury tax. Bobby Marks has said giving Harris a 50 percent raise to $12 million would mean Tsai would have to pay a $50 million tax, fifth highest ever. Any amount over that $12 million would mean more luxury tax.

Moreover, if the Nets lost Harris, they would only have the taxpayers MLE —$18 million over three, starting at $5.8 million next season— to replace him on the open market.

Harris has indeed his expressed his desire to return, most recently saying “Definitely. Why wouldn’t you?” and Marks has said re-signing him is “priority No. 1.” Steve Nash sat down with Harris shortly after he was named head coach.

Who would be the competition? Here’s Lewis assessment...

The Knicks have money to burn with $47 million in cap room, and while hope always springs eternal they will land a superstar after next season, they have to eventually start showing some improvement on the court to finally land a star. Harris would help toward that end.

Atlanta would love to take some pressure off young star Trae Young. The Hawks were dead last in 3-point percentage, making just 33.3 percent, and are sitting on a league-high trove of $49 million in cap space.

Lewis also said some capped out teams —naming the Warriors and 76ers— who might propose a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn but that would create a hard cap.

Indeed, a sign-and-trade would be a hard sell for a lot of reasons. It’s one of the triggers for a hard cap. Specifically, per Larry Coon of CBA FAQ... “When a team becomes hard-capped, it cannot exceed the “tax apron” at any point during the rest of the league year. The tax apron is set at a point approximately $6MM above the luxury tax line.”

Free agency is a long way off, around Thanksgiving, so there’s plenty of time for speculation.