NBA Champion Wing ‘Almost Surely’ Won’t Join Sixers: Report

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PJ Tucker

Getty P.J. Tucker won a championship playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021.

The Philadelphia 76ers appear to be out of the running for veteran wing P.J. Tucker. The one-time champion plans to enter free agency instead of picking up his $7.4 million player option in Miami. He was thought to be high on the Sixers’ radar.

Hold that thought. According to Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times, Tucker is “almost surely” not coming to Philadelphia. A source told Moore that the Sixers won’t make a trade to trim salary to use on the non-taxpayer mid-level exception. The standard mid-level exception is estimated at $10.3 million, per Hoops Rumors.

That would have given the over-the-cap Sixers a chance to sign Tucker without exceeding the luxury tax threshold. Reports indicated the team was ready to hand Tucker a three-year deal worth $30 million. Which is no longer an option.

There is a path to signing the 37-year-old Tucker to a $32 million deal, but it involves trading Matisse Thybulle ($4.4 million) and Furkan Korkmaz ($5 million). The Sixers would likely have to pair those players with “a second-rounder for a highly protected second-round pick to a team under the cap,” per Moore.

That would allow the Sixers to move under the $147 million tax line, sign Tucker and remain below the $155.7 million luxury tax apron that’s required if they use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception While the Heat can only go as high as $26 million over three years for Tucker, who shot .415 on 3-pointers last season, an NBA source said the Sixers “aren’t trading to trim salary to use on non-taxpayer MLE,” so Tucker almost surely won’t become a 76er.

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Ex-Georgetown Wing Signed to Exhibit 10 Contract

The Sixers reached an agreement with Aminu Mohammed after he went undrafted on Thursday night. The 6-foot-5 wing player signed an Exhibit 10 contract, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. That means he gets an automatic Summer League invite and the chance at a two-way contract if he plays well. It is a non-guaranteed deal.

Mohammed averaged 13.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game last season for the Hoyas while starting 31 games. He was named to the All-Big East Freshman team in his only year at the school. Prior to that, he was the 2021 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year. Here is a quick scouting report (via NBA DraftNet):

He plays with live energy and contributes on the glass and defensively, and there are teams that like his raw versatility on both ends of the court … He will need time to develop, and he isn’t going to be much of a scorer at the NBA level, but there are some tools Mohammed possesses that will make him worth keeping an eye on in the 2nd round and in the Summer League.

Sixers Announce Trade for De’Anthony Melton

The trade between the Grizzlies and Sixers for became official on Friday. The team announced the move in a press release where team president Daryl Morey confirmed Danny Green’s exit and De’Anthony Melton’s arrival.

“First and foremost, I want to thank Danny Green for everything he gave the Sixers organization over the last two seasons,” Morey said. “He was a veteran leader, consummate professional on and off the court, and made us all better. I wish him continued success in his recovery and look forward to seeing him back on the court.

“Heading into the draft, we had a goal of strengthening our rotation and believe we accomplished that by acquiring De’Anthony Melton. He is a young, tough and talented two-way player who can impact the game on multiple levels. We think he will thrive here and we’re excited to add him to our roster.”

Melton averaged career highs across the board with Memphis last season: 10.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.4 steals in 22.7 minutes per game. His average of 1.4 takeaways per contest led the NBA among players who played in 25-or-fewer minutes per game and ranked within the league’s top-15 overall.

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