Six players chase a PJ Tucker; Matisse Thybulle and number 23 are chosen to create a cover space

Will Daryl Morey bring the Houston Rockets East to Philly?

Murray was the general manager of the Rockets for 13 seasons before being appointed as the 76ers head of the basketball operation in November 2020.

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

League sources have now confirmed that the CEO is pursuing ex-Houston forward PJ Tucker. Sources also said the Sixers are looking to make a three-team trade that could include Matisse Thybulle and the 23rd pick to create a space. Sources said the Sixers are trying to trade off Tobias Harris, but are having trouble getting teams to take his lucrative contract.

Read more: Jaden Hardy thinks it would be “cool” for the Sixers and their 23rd pick

But it became public on Monday that Tucker would choose the $7.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season with the Miami Heat to become a free agent. Multiple sources have the intention of the Sixers to offer him a three-year contract worth $30 million. Time will tell what will happen. But a source added that Tucker, 37, and the Sixers had a common interest.

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

Right now, the Sixers don’t have enough room to sign him for $10 million a season. As a result, they will have to free up a place in order to match his salary.

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

Teams are not allowed to negotiate with free agents until the start of the free agency period. Any prior discussions are considered absurd.

However, the Sixers 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.

The Sixers said they want to keep their key players — Joel Embiid, Teresa Maxi, Harris and Harden — intact. However, league sources say the team is looking for suitors to Harris, who has two years and $76.9 million left on his deal.

Harris, the powerful striker, could be expendable if the team acquired Tucker. While it’s not perfect, the pairing can work with Harris’ little forward slip depending on the matches.

Tucker will defend the opposing team’s best striker. But shopping at Harris could be more about wanting to forego his paycheck than to be fit.

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

Despite his advanced age, Tucker is a solid defender who excels at making triple corner kicks. His possession would enable Embiid to fulfill his wish.

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After the Sixers lost in the second round to the Heat, Embiid spoke of his desire to play with someone like Tucker.

“It’s just my body and he’s strong, and they have a few of those guys,” Embiid said. “Since I was here, I’d be lying if I said we had those kinds of guys. Nothing against what we have, it’s just the truth. We’ve never had PJ Tucker. That’s really what I’m trying to say.

“I think fitness, once you get to the playoffs or the later rounds, you need that. You need those really tough games.”

Tucker played 3 and a half seasons at 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 on free agency last summer.

Meanwhile, ESPN reports that the Phoenix Suns and Sixers are potential suitors for Rockets shooting guard Eric Gordon, who has two years left on his contract. Gordon, 33, will make $19.5 million next season and has a $20.9 million unsecured deal in 2023-24.

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