High Expectations Set for Sixers Offseason Addition

Philadelphia 76ers, P.J. Tucker

Getty Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics dribbles against P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat.

It has been a busy offseason for Daryl Morey and the Philadelphia 76ers, to say the least. Aside from being connected to Kevin Durant, the front office managed to re-sign James Harden and bolster the supporting cast all in one summer.

Among the players brought in is veteran forward P.J. Tucker. Despite entering his late thirties, he has still proven to be a valuable piece to contenders in recent years. Tucker spent last season with the Miami Heat, where he averaged 7.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG while connecting on over 41% of his threes. 

Heading into the offseason, perimeter defense and toughness were key points of emphasis for the Sixers. Given his track record of being a hard-nosed, physical player, the 37-year-old is the exact type of player they were looking for.

As a seemingly perfect fit alongside the Sixers’ stars, expectations are high for Tucker as he gets ready for his first season in Philly. While making bold predictions for the team, Bleacher Report‘s Zach Buckley proposed the idea of the former champion finding his way on an All-Defense team.

Somehow, though, his defense has never been formally recognized at this level with an All-Defense selection. That should change next season. He’ll have a ton of eyes on him as Philly’s biggest offseason addition, and that spotlight—coupled with the Ben Simmons-less Sixers’ glaring need for an all-purpose stopper—should be enough for his defense to finally get the recognition it deserves.

De’Anthony Melton Could Have Another Career Year

One of the more under-the-radar moves from Daryl Morey this summer came on draft night. Right before the Sixers were on the clock, he executed a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton in exchange for Danny Green and a first-round pick.

Melton, 24, is fresh off posting career-highs in points (10.8), rebounds (4.5), and steals (1.4) for Memphis last season. Following his best year as a pro, Buckley expects the young guard to take another step forward this season for the Sixers.

His upward trend shouldn’t stop, either. If anything, it might accelerate given how much talent he’ll have around him in Philly. His game is built to shine alongside stars, and he can strengthen several areas with his disruptive defense, outside shooting and transition attacking.

Sixers Urged to Prepare For ‘Early Playoffs’

After long wait, the NBA schedule has finally been released. The Sixers find themselves in multiple primetime slots, including games on opening night and Christmas Day.

Since the full release, analysts have been able to break down teams in terms of strength of schedule. The Sixers find themselves with an easy run to start the year, with the final weeks of the season littered with matchups against other contenders. Because of this, some are referring to it as a form of premature playoffs.

In the final two weeks of the regular season, the Sixers will face off against the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, and Miami Heat. This stretch will be a true test as they look to make a run at the NBA Championship.

The regular season kicks off for the Sixers on October 18th as they travel to Boston for a nationally-televised matchup against a familiar rival.

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