When the Philadelphia 76ers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Miami Heat in the second round, Joel Embiid and others on the team lamented their lack of players with the same fight in them as the Heat.
It appears now that Philadelphia will look to the Miami roster to fix that problem, as soon-to-be free agent PJ Tucker is atop their wishlist. Tucker is declining his $7.4 million player option with the Heat and while it’s possible that he returns to Miami on a larger deal, they will have plenty of competition for the 37-year-old forward. The Sixers are chief among those pursuing Tucker, and if the latest report from Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer is correct, Miami may have a tough time topping Philly’s planned offer.
Pompey reports the Sixers are looking to give Tucker a 3-year, $30 million contract offer, which would certainly be a tough deal to want to match if you are the Heat given that the final year of that contract would take Tucker into being 40 years old.
Multiple sources have the Sixers intending to offer him a three-year, $30 million contract. Time will tell what will happen. But a source added that there’s mutual interest between Tucker, 37, and the Sixers.
Marc Stein corroborated this report, noting the Sixers are “by far” the favorite to land Tucker if he opens his free agency up beyond re-signing in Miami. As for how they plan on opening up $10 million in cap space, Pompey reports the Sixers are looking to work a three-team trade that sends Matisse Thybulle and the No. 23 pick in this year’s draft out for a first round pick in return, paving the way for Tucker to join the Sixers and provide “That Dog” that they lack. Philly is also looking to move Danny Green’s $10 million salary, with Green expected to miss most of the season after tearing his ACL and LCL in the Sixers Game 6 loss to Miami, to further pave the way for offseason moves.
We will know the Sixers intentions — and if they’re going to be able to make such an offer to Tucker — soon, as they’ll need to complete a deal on Draft night to have any real chance of making a splash. What teams get in the mix for Thybulle, who is an elite defender but is a liability offensively, remains to be seen.