P.J. Tucker opted out with the Heat, and the forward has now officially signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the 76ers. This signing was possible via the Sixers’ mid-level exception. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the 12-year veteran was debating on whether or not he would return to the Bucks.
“Several league sources say Tucker will choose the Sixers’ three-year, $30 million offer over opportunities to remain in Miami or go back to Milwaukee after free agency begins at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday,” explained Pompey. The deal is almost final, so 76ers’ fans can celebrate at this point.
Pompey also stated, “Tucker could receive $27 million guaranteed with reachable incentives that could get him to $30 million. Three sources have said Tucker to the Sixers is a ‘done deal.’ A fourth source said he would be shocked if Tucker wasn’t in a Sixers uniform next season.”
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The forward played terrific with the Heat
Furthermore, in P.J. Tucker’s only season spent in South Beach last season, he averaged 7.6 points per game with the Heat. The last time he recorded at least seven points per game was back in the 2018-19 season. Tucker also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 71 games played. The forward started in 70 games in the 2021-22 season as well. In the Heat’s 105-94 loss to the Cavaliers on Dec. 13, 2021, Tucker scored a season-high 23 points.
Since free agency begins tomorrow, fans are already wondering if tampering occurred. It’s a possibility, but it’s also a special time of the year when NBA teams negotiate contracts with available players. In other words, the early bird gets the worm. Plus, it’s not like this signing was out of the blue.
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Joel Embiid asked for a P.J. Tucker-like player
About a week ago, Joel Embiid said that the 76ers need more tough guys. He also mentioned that Philadelphia could use a strong player like Tucker come time for the playoffs. Tucker has made 137 shots from downtown in his postseason career, ranking 57th all-time. Not to mention, the forward has a career offensive rating of 120.7, ranking 11th all-time.
During the second round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, Tucker averaged 8.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game against the 76ers.
Moreover, Embiid was the league’s scoring champion last season, averaging 30.6 points per game. The seventh-year center will gladly welcome Tucker to the team. After all, Tucker helped the Bucks win their second championship in franchise history in the 2021 NBA Finals.
Nonetheless, he was more of a nonfactor against the Suns. In six games played, Tucker averaged 4.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game against Phoenix. Even then, the veteran finished seventh in scoring and rebounding on the Bucks in that Finals series.
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