An official three-year, $33.2 million contract between P.J. Tucker and the Sixers is anticipated, a source told NBC Sports Philadelphia on Thursday night. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news first.
Tucker is working with star guard James Harden and Sixers head of basketball operations Daryl Morey for the second time. Together, they had three extremely fruitful full seasons in Houston. The 2017–18 Rockets had a 65–game winning regular season record and led the Warriors by 11 points in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals at the half. However, Houston missed an unbelievable 27 consecutive three-point attempts, resulting in a heartbreaking loss.
Tucker, who is 37 years old, will be attempting to win his second NBA championship. He won his first championship with the Bucks in 2021, and this year, as a key player for the Heat, he nearly earned a second trip to the Finals.
When the Miami Heat defeated the Sixers in the second round, Harden wasn’t exactly full of compliments for his former teammate.
“P.J. is P.J.,” Harden said of Tucker’s defense after Game 1. “He plays hard. But that’s not something I’m worried about.”
But it’s clear that Harden and All-Star big man Joel Embiid of the Sixers respect Tucker beyond the realm of traditional box score numbers. After the Sixers’ Game 6 loss to Miami, Embiid mentioned Tucker while explaining why he’d like to see them sign tough, physical players this offseason.
Tucker excels in both willingness and ability to defend stars, which is one of his strongest qualities. Tucker is a sparsely used offensive player, but he enjoys taking advantage of open shots, and last season, he made a career-high 41.5 percent of his three-point attempts. According to Cleaning the Glass, Tucker’s 0.93 assist-to-usage ratio was also the highest of his career as he took on additional playmaking duties when Bam Adebayo was sidelined due to thumb surgery.
Although 37 isn’t elderly outside of basketball, any NBA player in his late 30s has age- and health-related concerns. Tucker currently enjoys a solid reputation. On three times, he has participated in 82 games.
His next matchup should be with Harden, whose decision to decline his player option made it possible for Tucker to be signed under the non-taxpayer mid-level exception.
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