Tobias Harris came into last season with some very high expectations.
His 27-game cameo with the Magic in 2013 brought with it a lot of excitement for the following season. He averaged 17.3 points per game in that time and forced his way into a bigger role. It seemed like Rob Hennigan struck gold late in the season and had found a very valuable asset.
His first full season in Orlando was a bit more of a struggle.
His per-36 numbers were relatively in line and his field goal shooting numbers (at least for 2-pointers) was up. But Harris failed to take that big leap forward. Jacque Vaughn favored bringing him off the bench and limiting his minutes on his way to averaging 14.6 points per game and taking three fewer shots per game than that brief stint to end 2013.
Harris missed the first 12 games with a high ankle sprain suffered in training camp. That lasted all of one game and he missed the next nine games. Harris admitted frustration during the season that he was never quite healthy and it took him a long time to feel right. It was clear something was off.
Now that the season is over, maybe even Harris can admit his body was just not right, telling John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com that he was never 100 percent healthy:
— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) July 29, 2014
Harris impressed throughout the week in Las Vegas, as did Victor Oladipo. According to Denton, Harris showed a wide array of offensive moves and looked to be moving well. Much like he did when he caught Magic fans by surprise at the end of the 2013 season.
Hearing he was less than 100 percent last year certainly would excuse his somewhat disappointing play.
Neither he, nor anyone will use that as an excuse. Entering a year where he could enter restricted free agency, Harris has to bounce back and show where he fits in the league.