P.J. Tucker, 76ers Agree on 3-Year, $33.2M Fully Guaranteed Contract in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 30, 2022

MIAMI, FL - MAY 25: P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 25, 2022 at FTX Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

P.J. Tucker has a new home once again.

After declining a $7.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season with the Miami Heat, Tucker and the Sixers agreed to a new three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed contract at the start of free agency.

Andre Buck, Tucker's agent, confirmed the agreement to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Tucker, 37, was a crucial part of a Heat team that reached the Eastern Conference Finals last season, averaging 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in the regular season while shooting 41.5 percent from three.

He remained productive in the postseason, putting up 7.9 points and 5.7 rebounds while shooting 45.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Tucker is a hard-nosed defender and veteran who has an impressive resume of postseason appearances. He was a huge part of the Milwaukee Bucks title run in the 2020-21 season, memorably playing pesky defense on the Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

His player profile as an experienced defender with legitimate catch-and-shoot proficiency made him a hot commodity for contending teams around the NBA, with Philadelphia ultimately bringing him aboard.

After another disappointing second-round exit, this time against the Heat, it was clear that the Sixers needed to add defense, athleticism on the wing, depth and some toughness this offseason. Tucker will help with a few of those needs, and his experience playing alongside Harden should make his transition fairly seamless.

It also helps that Embiid called him out by name in his evaluation of the team's needs heading into the postseason.

"You look at someone like P.J. Tucker, great player, but it's not about him knocking down shots. It's about what he does," Embiid told reporters in May. "Whether it's on the defensive or rebounding the ball. You look at defensively, he plays with so much energy, believes that you can get from point A to point B, and he believes that no one can beat him and he's tough, like he's just physical and he's tough. ... Since I've been here, I'd be lying if I said that we've had, you know, those type of guys. Nothing against what we have. It's just the truth. We've never had P.J. Tucker."

Now they do.