Thanks to a selfless act from one of their star players, the Philadelphia 76ers were able to address their depth concerns this offseason. With more cap space available to him, Daryl Morey was able to go out and sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. to multi-year contracts. With Danny Green being traded away on draft night for De’Anthony Melton, the pair of veterans will help solidify the wing depth on the roster.
Morey focused on star power at the deadline last year, getting James Harden, and now has bolstered the Sixers’ depth. With their current makeup, they are in a good position to make a legitimate run at the NBA title this season.
Following the frenzy that is free agency, the people over at Bleacher Report ranked all the NBA’s starting lineups heading into next year. The grouping of Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, P.J. Tucker, and Joel Embiid came in third. Only teams ahead of them were the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, who just got done battling each other in the NBA Finals.
The thought of defending a Harden-Embiid pick-and-roll with Maxey blowing past closeouts on the weak side while Harris and Tucker space out the three-point line should give opposing coaches indigestion. And the added stretch provided by Tucker’s renowned gunning from the short corners will keep help from crashing down on Embiid when he rumbles to the cup.
Sixers Big Three Also Atop NBA Ranks
Along with ranking starting lineups, Bleacher Report also did the same with big threes. The trio of Embiid, Harden, and Maxey find themselves slotted into the fourth spot.
Embiid will be an MVP candidate for the foreseeable future and Harden has transitioned into an excellent sidekick, one that seems perfectly happy leaning on his still incredible playmaking skills. This was the most efficient pick-and-roll duo in the NBA last year, one that should only improve with more reps together.
Maxey has always been a terror to stop in transition, but it’s his evolution as an outside threat that couldn’t have been more perfect next to Embiid and Harden.
While they may be fourth now, the Sixers’ stars could slide into the top three before the season even gets underway. One spot ahead of them was the Brooklyn Nets trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons. With all the trade rumors swirling around that team, they might look very different in a few weeks.
Sixers Offseason Additions Deemed Perfect Fits
Not only did Daryl Morey provide wing depth to the Sixers, but he signed guys who are also strong shooters from beyond the arc. Having adequate floor spacing is essential for an offense centered around a player like Joel Embiid, who likes to do his damage at the rim.
Last season, Tucker and House Jr. shot 41.5% and 37.6% from beyond the arc, respectively. Because of their ability to be reliable kick-out options, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report expects them to be a seamless fit alongside their All-Star teammates this season.
Tucker and House should fit like a glove with Harden, just like they once did back in Houston. And since Joel Embiid thrives alongside the same three-and-D archetype, the fit should be just as snug on that end.