This offseason, one of the key moves made by the Philadelphia 76ers was signing veteran forward P.J. Tucker. After he opted out of his player option with the Miami Heat, Daryl Morey swooped in with a three-year, $33 million contract.
With Danny Green getting traded away for De’Anthony Melton, the Sixers needed a new veteran presence in the locker room. As a former champion with the Milwaukee Bucks, the 37-year-old knows what it takes to win at the highest level.
Along with filling a void off the court, Tucker is the exact type of player the Sixers needed on the court. He is an above-average, versatile defender and a capable shooter from beyond the arc. In 71 games with the Heat last season, Tucker averaged 7.6 PPG and 5.5 RPG while shooting 41.5% from deep.
Following an offseason that saw countless players change teams, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley listed each team’s best new weapons. Because he is such a seamless fit, Tucker was chosen for the Sixers.
Age will catch up to Tucker at some point, but it apparently hasn’t made any progress yet. Last season, he shot a career-high 41.5 percent from three while routinely taking on Miami’s toughest defensive assignment.
Tucker’s game fits like a tailored suit with James Harden, and it should be no different with Embiid. As long as he avoids any age-related decline, he looks like an opener and closer for the Sixers.
Insider Sets High Expectations for P.J. Tucker
Because of the gravity he draws on the floor, shooters have always thrived alongside Joel Embiid. Guys like JJ Redick, Seth Curry, and Danny Green all came to Philly and had some of their best seasons because of their ability to thrive playing off the All-Star center.
Like the players mentioned above, P.J. Tucker knows how to alleviate pressure from star players. His presence out there will make defenses think twice before sagging off him to double-team Embiid or Jame Harden.
Ahead of the 2023 season, Ky Carlin of USA Today listed bold predictions for some of the Sixers’ role players. When discussing Tucker, he sees him leading the team in three-point percentage.
Tucker shot 41.5% from deep in the 2021-22 season with the Miami Heat and, specifically, 39% from deep from the corner spots which is in the 99th percentile per Cleaning the Glass. Tucker’s 3-point ability would be a welcomed addition to Harden on the offensive end. That number should go up with Harden.
Doc Rivers Excited for P.J. Tucker’s Fit With Tyrese Maxey
Following this breakout campaign, eyes will be on Maxey to see how his game will continue to blossom. Sixers coach Doc Rivers feels like the addition of Tucker can help the young guard continue to develop at a rapid pace.
“I think P.J.’s going to have the biggest effect on Tyrese (of the new Sixers),” Rivers said, “just because you saw last year what he did with (Tyler) Herro — just his DHOs. A lot of times P.J.’s in the corner and when there are drive-and-kicks, I think that’ll open up opportunities for Tyrese to be able to kick it to the corner.