Sixers chasing PJ Tucker;  Matisse Thybulle and choice No. 23 are bought to create cap space

Sixers chasing PJ Tucker; Matisse Thybulle and choice No. 23 are bought to create cap space

Is Daryl Morey bringing the Houston Rockets East to Philadelphia?

Morey served as the Rockets’ general manager for 13 seasons before being hired as the 76ers’ president of basketball operations in November 2020.

Then, in July 2021, former Rockets CEO Tad Brown was hired for the same role from Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which oversees the Sixers, New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark, NJ And Morey. acquired former Houston star James Harden in a blockbuster trade from the Brooklyn Nets on February 10.

Now the executive is suing former Houston forward PJ Tucker, league sources confirm. Sources have also said the Sixers are looking to make a three-team trade which could involve Matisse Thybulle and the No. 23 pick to create space. Sources said the Sixers are trying to trade Tobias Harris, but they’re having trouble convincing teams to accept his lucrative contract.

READ MORE: Jaden Hardy thinks he’d be a perfect fit for the Sixers and their No. 23 draft pick

But it became public knowledge on Monday that Tucker would opt out of his $7.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season with the Miami Heat to become a free agent. Multiple sources have the Sixers intending to offer him a three-year, $30 million deal. Time will tell what will happen. But a source added there was a mutual interest between Tucker, 37, and the Sixers.

Things could change before free agency begins at 6 p.m. on June 30, but league executives think there’s a good chance Tucker will become a Sixer.

Right now, the Sixers don’t have the cap space available to sign him for $10 million per season. As a result, they should free up space to reflect his salary.

But there has been some league-wide talk recently about the Sixers’ interest in Tucker, though someone close to the Sixers refutes what league sources are saying.

Teams are not allowed to negotiate with free agents before the start of the free agency period. Any prior discussion is considered tampering.

The Sixers, however, could try to make some things work with the three-team trade. The Sixers are looking for a third team to help facilitate the trade. In order to get Thybulle and the first round, sources say the Sixers are asking a third team to give up a first-round pick to make the deal work.

The Sixers have said they want to keep their key players – Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Harris and Harden – intact. However, league sources say the team is looking for suitors for Harris, who still has two years and $76.9 million left on his contract.

Harris, a power forward, could be expendable if the team acquires Tucker. While not ideal, the pairing could work with Harris sliding to a small forward depending on the matchups.

Tucker would defend the opposing team’s best forward. But Harris being bought might have more to do with the Sixers wanting to lose his salary than adapting.

The Sixers are also buying Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz and Danny Green.

Despite his age, Tucker is a solid defender who excels at three-point corners. Its acquisition would allow Embiid to achieve its wish.

READ MORE: Four years later, Mikal Bridges’ trade for Zhaire Smith in Sixers draft looks worse than ever

After the Sixers’ second-round loss to the Heat, Embiid spoke about his desire to play with someone like Tucker.

“He’s just physical and he’s tough, and they have a few of those guys,” Embiid said. “Since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said we’ve had these kind of guys. Nothing against what we have, it’s just the truth. We never have PJ Tucker. That’s really what I’m trying to say.

“I think the physique, once you get to the playoffs or later rounds, you need that. You need those games that are really hard.

Tucker played 3½ seasons in Houston before being traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on March 19, 2021. He helped the Bucks win the 2021 NBA title before signing with the Heat in free agency last summer.

Meanwhile, ESPN reported that the Phoenix Suns and Sixers are possible suitors for Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon, who has two years left on his contract. Gordon, 33, will earn $19.5 million next season and has an unsecured contract of $20.9 million in 2023-24.

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