When PJ Tucker declined to pick up his player option for next season, the initial expectation was that he’d simply renegotiate a deal with the Miami Heat, but it quickly became clear that the Philadelphia 76ers were the frontrunners for Tucker’s services, reuniting him with his old friends from Houston, James Harden and Daryl Morey.
For more than a week it’s been reported that Philadelphia would be finding a way to clear enough salary to offer Tucker a 3-year, $30 million deal to bring some much-needed toughness to their team. Right as free agency opened up on Thursday, we learned that to be the case, with Tucker getting a fully guaranteed deal for a little bit more money in the City of Brotherly Love.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 30, 2022
Given how much Joel Embiid and others on the Sixers lamented their lack of competitors in their second round series loss to Tucker and the Heat, it’s not a surprise that they’d turn to the 37-year-old that already has the respect of their stars and entire team. Last year, Tucker averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 48.4/41.5/73.8 shooting splits in 71 games for Miami.
The question, of course, is whether giving Tucker such a substantial deal that takes him into his Year 40 season is going to produce diminishing returns sooner rather than later. But for as long as Tucker can continue to be an elite defensive pest and knock down corner threes as he has ever since his Rockets days, he figures to help this Philly team.