Tobias Harris appears in SI’s top 100 NBA players list

AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 28: Tobias Harris
AUBURN HILLS, MI - MARCH 28: Tobias Harris /

SI’s annual top 100 list has come out, and multiple Detroit Pistons appear throughout in the top 50-100 rankings. We’ll look at the first, Tobias Harris.

SI came out with their annual top 100 NBA players list, starting with the 50 through 100 ranks, and a number of Detroit Pistons made appearances. The lowest rated of the bunch comes in the form of Tobias Harris, checking in with a ranking of 81.

Coming off the best year of his career, and a season in which he was the best player and strongest source of stability on a disappointing Piston squad, Harris actually lost ground compared to his rank of 77 on this list a year ago.

In the piece by SI’s Ben Golliver and Rob Mahoney, they broke down his offensive outlook now that there are more touches up for grabs in the starting lineup with the departures of both Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Marcus Morris.

"There are plenty of touches and shots to be had, even after key newcomer Avery Bradley gets his share, and the 25-year-old Harris is the most proven and efficient offensive player among Detroit’s varied crop of threes and fours."

They also took a look at expectations for his usage after the roster shakeup from a year ago, which leads into a commonly overlooked element to his game.

"Given Detroit’s new roster construction and shallower pool of established talent, Harris should return to a full-time starting role, adding isolation scoring and a degree of spacing to Detroit’s bread-and-butter spread pick-and-roll."

While Harris was indeed the best spot up shooter for the Detroit Pistons a year ago, he was also the best pick and roll ball handler on the team, scoring .985 points per possession.

In a recent conversation, we spoke about the differences between playing the three and the four with the starting lineup and Andre Drummond in particular.

“Against a lot of threes we can get them in pick and roll action and get them switching on a guard so I have a guard on me and I can go straight to the post on them.” He continued, “At the three it’s better for the screen and roll with me and Andre at times because we’re really able to exploit that.”

Keep an eye on the Harris and Drummond 3-5 pick and roll next season.

It’s no surprise to see Tobias Harris get underrated on the national stage (it looks like he was basically copy and pasted from NBA 2K17 to 2K18, for example), but it would be nice to see the narrative catch up with the facts on the ground for a player who was the best Piston in his first full season in Detroit.

Next: NBA Math ranks the Pistons roster

With elevated expectations and opportunities and more eyes aimed his direction, Harris is poised to capitalize and shift the narrative in a more accurate direction.