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The Philadelphia 76ers lacked several critical factors during the 2022 NBA Playoffs. One of the most notable pieces missing on their team was a veteran enforcer. 

Following the Sixers’ Game 6 elimination loss to the Miami Heat, Philly’s big man Joel Embiid issued tons of credit to Heat veteran PJ Tucker as Embiid believed Tucker was a real difference-maker in the series.

While Embiid typically shies away from expressing his opinion on the team from a personnel standpoint, he couldn’t have made it more clear that he believed the Sixers needed to get a PJ Tucker-type of player for the 2022-2023 NBA season.

Well, the Sixers could technically get Tucker himself as the 37-year-old forward is set to hit the free agency market after declining his player option, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Tucker was on pace to make $7.4 million for the 2022-2023 NBA season if he opted into his player option with the Heat. However, it seems the veteran is banking on finding a better deal in a potentially better situation for himself through free agency.

As Charania reported, several championship-contending teams are expected to be in the market for Tucker. While there haven’t been any teams linked to the veteran enforcer so far, the Sixers will more than likely look into potentially bringing Tucker on ahead of next season.

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Not only was Tucker a member of the Houston Rockets during the James Harden and Daryl Morey era, but there were also rumors that Morey previously attempted to bring Tucker to Philadelphia during the 2020-2021 season. Unfortunately for Morey and the Sixers, the Rockets sent Tucker to the Milwaukee Bucks instead.

The 2021 NBA champion will garner tons of interest in the free agency market as he still brings a lot of value to contending teams. Perhaps, the Sixers will have an advantage since Tucker previously worked with a couple of key members of the Sixers’ organization in the past. 

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.

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