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76ers Rumors: P.J. Tucker Contract 'Likely' to Be Investigated for Tampering

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJuly 15, 2022

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA will "likely" investigate the Philadelphia 76ers' signing of former free-agent forward P.J. Tucker, who inked a three-year, $33.2 million deal with the team after spending last year with the Miami Heat.

Longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein dropped that news Friday in his latest Substack newsletter.

"On top of the NBA's expected examination of the Knicks' now-official signing of Jalen Brunson in free agency, I'm told that Philadelphia's signing of P.J. Tucker is also likely to be placed under the investigation microscope by the league office," Stein wrote.

Tampering notably came under the microscope last offseason because of the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls' free-agent pursuits and signings of point guards Kyle Lowry and Lonzo Ball, respectively.

Both teams eventually forfeited second-round picks as a result of the NBA's findings.

Tucker, who was picked No. 35 overall out of Texas in 2006 by the Toronto Raptors, averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game last year.

He started 70 of 71 games for a 53-29 Heat team that finished first in the Eastern Conference standings and finished one win shy of reaching the NBA Finals.

Word emerged on June 21 that the 76ers were interested in acquiring Tucker, per ESPN's Brian Windhorst. One day later, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports reported that multiple teams were willing to throw the full mid-level exception at him.

Alex Schiffer of The Athletic then mentioned a host of teams, including the 76ers, who were interested in Tucker. Despite the Heat's reported interest in bringing Tucker back, it appeared they would be out of the mix.

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer

Multiple teams — including Atlanta, Minnesota, Brooklyn, Chicago and Philadelphia — are expected to compete for PJ Tucker in free agency. All are expected to offer the full mid-level/TPMLE exception. He is unlikely to return to Miami, per sources.

One minute after the 2022 NBA free agency moratorium began on June 30, Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic announced the contract terms:

Shams Charania @ShamsCharania

Free agent PJ Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, his agent Andre Buck (<a href="https://twitter.com/andrebuck14?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@andrebuck14</a>) told <a href="https://twitter.com/TheAthletic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TheAthletic</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Stadium?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Stadium</a>.

Tucker should presumably start at small forward around a lineup that includes a backcourt of Tyrese Maxey and James Harden and a frontcourt of NBA MVP runner-up Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.

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