After flaming out in the second round of the NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat, it’s clear the Philadelphia 76ers need to get some more help to fill out their roster.
Something the Sixers lack is a “tough guy,” something that several teams who went far in the playoffs had. The Warriors had Draymond Green, the Celtics had Marcus Smart and Grant Williams, the Heat had P.J. Tucker. Well, Tucker might not be with the Heat for much longer if NBA insider Marc Stein’s reporting is accurate.
On June 26, he reported teams around the league expect the Sixers to land Tucker on a three-year deal in free agency. This would be a big pickup for the team as it’d reunite James Harden with a former teammate and also give the team much-needed depth on the bench.
Sixers Landing Their Guy?
It’s been expected the Sixers were going to get Tucker in free agency, but the rumblings have grown even louder recently.
“Numerous rival teams, meanwhile, say with even more conviction now than they did last week — when I first reported on Wednesday — that they expect P.J. Tucker to land in Philadelphia on a three-year $30 million deal in free agency,” reported Stein.
He goes on to add that if the Heat manage to get him to stay, it would be a surprise to teams around the league.
“If Pat Riley’s Heat can find a way now to re-sign Tucker, they will definitely surprise some people,” he continued. “It seems increasingly safe, then, to at least pencil in a Harden/Tucker reunion into a Sixers offseason that already features the draft-day acquisition of De’Anthony Melton from Memphis. Philly is also expected to continue exploring trade scenarios that feature Tobias Harris and Matisse Thybulle.”
The main downside to offering a three-year contract is the fact Tucker is already 37 years old. With that said, he did post a career-high in three-point percentage last year at 41.5 percent while also starting 70 games, so he does have something left in the tank.
If the Sixers don’t move Tobias Harris this offseason, then Tucker will most likely find himself coming off the bench. At this stage in his career, that could be the best spot for him despite the career highs he posted last season with the Heat.
Outside of landing Tucker, the Sixers will still have a lot to take off this offseason if they want to win an NBA championship, something Tucker himself won with the Bucks back in 2021.
More Moves Needed
Tucker is an excellent start for the team, but they will need to do more if they want to get over the hump.
Matisse Thybulle had a disastrous postseason, and the team has been trying to move him since the season ended. Thybulle isn’t the only player that’s trying to be moved as Stein also mentioned Tobias Harris trades are being explored.
Harris’ monster contract would be able to bring back a bunch of pieces if the Sixers manage to move it, but that’s no guarantee. Harris is making money like he’s a lead option, and that will end up being the biggest hurdle to cross in any trade.