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P.J. Tucker could be heading to the Philadelphia 76ers soon.
Speculation continues to swirl around Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, and it’s no surprise his name keeps popping up in NBA rumors given the state of his current team.
As losers in 13 straight games, the Rockets are in a miserable place heading into the All-Star break. They’ve been reeling since James Harden’s forced departure to the Brooklyn Nets, and while Christian Wood and Victor Oladipo may be worth hanging onto for the long-term, Houston’s focus should be turning established veterans into younger players and future draft picks to help turn the page.
P.J. Tucker is one such player the Rockets should consider moving before the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline, and according to the latest report, his most likely suitor could be the Philadelphia 76ers in the coming weeks.
Per TrueHoop’s Tom Haberstroh (via Bleacher Report), several rival executives believe Tucker will land on the Sixers soon, either as part of a trade for a second-round draft pick or after being bought out by the Rockets.
P.J. Tucker could find himself in Philly soon enough
At 11-23 and ranked 14th in the Western Conference, Houston is going nowhere fast, so cashing in on whatever value they can get out of Tucker — an unrestricted free agent this offseason — makes sense before they lose him for nothing. If there are no takers on a trade, however, their hand may be forced into giving the 35-year-old a buyout so he can compete on a legitimate contender again before his career is over.
The Sixers head into the break with the best record in the Eastern Conference and the third-best record in the NBA at 24-12. They also own the league’s third-best point differential and are led by the MVP frontrunner in Joel Embiid, so it’s clear why Tucker would be interested in joining such a team. Philly could also use a versatile defender and established corner 3-point sniper like Tucker, especially come playoff time when being able to play small and padding the bench depth would be major bonuses.
Some teams may be worried that P.J. Tucker is “cooked,” but it doesn’t appear Philadelphia is one of those teams.