Earlier this week, it was reported that Tucker had decided to opt out of his player option with the Heat and test the free-agency market. That decision has already seemingly paid off, as a number of teams seem more than happy to offer the veteran enforcer a multiyear deal.
One of the teams that seems to be in hot pursuit of Tucker is the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers once again flamed out in the playoffs last season, and they actually lost to the Heat in a six-game series.
According to a recent report, Sixers star big man Joel Embiid has already signed off on the team pursuing Tucker.
“The Sixers’ forthcoming strong pursuit of P.J. Tucker, league sources say, has the strong backing of star center Joel Embiid,” Marc Stein wrote on his Substack. “I reported Wednesday that Philadelphia is regarded as the league’s clear favorite to sign Tucker if the 37-year-old is indeed leaving Miami this summer after declining his $7.4 million player option with the Heat for next season to opt for free agency.”
It is not a shock to learn that the team’s front office wanted to gauge Embiid’s thoughts on this possible pursuit. It is also not all that surprising to learn that Embiid strongly supports it.
Tucker is a hard-nosed player and total throwback to previous eras of the NBA when players used to be a bit more passionate, aggressive and physical. He helps teams immensely on the defensive end.
He’s also quite a weapon on offense and developed a dangerous 3-point shot.
All in all, Tucker joining the Sixers would be a great get for the team. It would also be a double loss for the Heat. Not only would they be getting worse, but one of their Eastern Conference rivals would also be getting better.
Though Heat team president Pat Riley and the rest of the front office will likely try to hold onto Tucker, it seems quite possible that the former second-round pick could walk in favor of a team that is willing to offer him an inflated deal.