Sixers $33 Million Starter Called ‘Weakest Link’ in Lineup

Tobias Harris, James Harden, Joel Embiid, PJ Tucker, Tyrese Maxry

Getty Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, James Harden and P.J. Tucker

Unless the Philadelphia 76ers make a trade, their starting lineup on opening night of the 2023-24 season will be Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris and P.J. Tucker, who is the weakest link among them, according to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz.

“For now, though, this starting lineup is pretty obvious. As is its so-called weakest link,” Swartz wrote in a July 27 story about every NBA team’s weakest link. “Tucker knows exactly who he is. His 40.5 three-point percentage over the last two seasons and occasional possession-saving rebounds have value in a lineup with as much scoring as this.”

Swartz pointed out Tucker’s flaws as a player and how they could hurt the Sixers’ offensively.

“But he’s 38 years old, undersized for a 4, too slow to play the 3, and adds almost nothing as an off-the-bounce player on offense,” Swartz wrote.

The Sixers have Tucker under contract for two more season on his three-year, $33 million deal, with the second season being a player option. If Tucker picks up his $11.5 million option, he’ll be 40 when the deal expires.

Clippers-Sixers Have Discussed P.J. Tucker in Trade

With ” target=”_blank”>Harden wanting to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, the two sides have also discussed including Tucker in a possible trade, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto.

“PJ Tucker, Harden’s longtime teammate with the Rockets and Sixers, has come up in trade discussions between the 76ers and Clippers, league sources told HoopsHype,” Scotto wrote on July 21. “The Clippers covet Tucker’s ability to guard multiple positions and defend the league’s top opposing scorers.”

Including Tucker in a trade would help the Sixers’ cap flexibility. However, that would also mean the Clippers would have to send even more contracts to make it work. The Clippers have the expiring contracts of Nicolas Batum, Marcus Morris and Robert Covington to offer. They would have to add more than just them if they are serious about getting Harden.

Adding someone like Terance Mann – who is slated to make $10.6 million this coming season – could help get the deal done, but according to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, they’re hesitant to do that.

“The Clippers, Harden’s preferred destination, are interested. But not, it seems, at the cost of Terance Mann and what’s left of their first-round draft capital,” Mannix wrote.

Nick Nurse Wants to Mold Paul Reed Into Raptors Star

Sixers center Paul Reed said new head coach Nick Nurse wants to transform him into a player like Toronto Raptors star Pascal Siakam, according to Ky Carlin of USA Today’s Sixers Wire.

“I’ve talked to him plenty of times, and it’s always been kind of the same kind of idea. He talked about molding me into a Pascal Siakam-type player. Somebody who can kind of do it all. Shoot the ball, drive, pass, but right now, it’s all about focusing on my shot mechanics. That’s the start. That’s where it starts at.”

Siakam worked his way up to become the player that he became. He started out at a first-round pick with little expectations coming into the NBA, then became an NBA champion, NBA All-Star, and All-NBA forward.

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