News broke last week that PJ Tucker was opting out of his $7.4 million player option with the Miami Heat. Since then, the Philadelphia 76ers have become to biggest contender to land the veteran forward. Now, with 2022 NBA Free Agency two days away, Tucker to the Sixers is basically a “done deal.” Tucker is going to choose the Sixers’ three-year, $30 million deal instead of opportunities with the Heat and the Milwaukee Bucks.
This is according to The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompeywho garnered information from multiple sources throughout the league.
While this is all well and good, there’s a huge catch. According to Pompey, the team won’t have enough cap space to make the deal if James Harden exercises his $47.36 million player option as expected.
If Harden opts in, the Sixers will have 13 players under $151.7 million in salary. At this point, all the team can offer incoming players are minimal contracts and mid-level exceptions estimating about $6.4 million.
So, what’s the plan?
Fortunately for the Sixers, there are a lot of options to clear up cap space. Pompey laid out the team’s options, one being a sign-and-trade with the Heat. They could also attempt a one-sided trade with an outside team involving Furkan Korkamaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Georges Niang.
Teams can officially start negotiating contracts with free agents when the 2022 NBA Free Agency period begins on June 30.