The Philadelphia 76ers made a huge under-the-radar signing when they brought in veteran PJ Tucker into the mix this summer. The one-time NBA champ turned down interest from other teams in order to sign with the Sixers. It was also an opportunity for him to reunite with former Houston Rockets teammate James Harden.
As it turns out, Tucker and Harden have been plotting to take their talents to Philly for quite some time now. According to Tucker, this reunion was one year in the making (h/t Sixers reporter Kyle Neubeck of the Philly Voice):
“Honestly, me and James were trying to come the year before,” Tucker said.
PJ Tucker on making the move to Philadelphia: "Honestly, me and James were trying to come the year before"
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) September 26, 2022
Harden arrived in Philly seven months before Tucker did after the latter forced his way out of the Brooklyn Nets. Based on Tucker’s recent admission, however, it’s possible that Harden was actually plotting to leave the Nets even before the start of the previous season. Did he already have one foot out the door in Brooklyn when the 2021-22 season began?
As for Tucker, he ended up signing with the Miami Heat last summer. Does his recent revelation mean that South Beach wasn’t his first choice?
Whatever the case may be, the former Rockets teammates are now back together on the same side. Tucker will now hope to bring his trademark toughness to Philly as he looks to help this team compete for a title this year.
Harden, on the other hand, has been all-in on the Sixers thus far, and he is clearly fully committed to the cause.