With the 2023-24 NBA season just around the corner, we zoom in on every player on the Philadelphia 76ers roster and see where they left off in the previous campaign and the expectations around them.
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76ers Player Preview: Can PJ Tucker continue to defy Father Time?
2022-23 Stats: 3.5 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 0.8 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.2 BPG, 42.7/39.3/82.6 splits
Where he left off:
In his 12th year in the league, PJ Tucker reprised his role in his previous teams as the resident enforcer on defense. The 76ers knew what they were getting in the veteran when they signed him to a three-year deal, and he was exactly as advertised in his first full campaign in Philly.
While certainly not much of a factor offensively, Tucker started all games for the team in the regular season and in the playoffs, even logging more minutes per outing in the postseason. The numbers will never do Tucker justice, but the eye test will easily point to him being one of the most important players last season for the 76ers, though he has become replaceable at times depending on the matchup.
What to expect:
Considering the team’s new additions and young prospects, Tucker’s standing is a bit murkier than before. However, he has an edge as regards to continuity and veteran experience which he can leverage to still contend for the starting power forward position, if he hasn’t already bagged it for himself.
However, role designations don’t matter much to nor affect Tucker give his play style. Even is he’s usurped by the others and play off the bench, he’s easily a shoo-in on Nick Nurse’ rotation, finding more run than usual when matched up against All-Star level forwards. Luckily for him, Philadelphia’s abundance of scorers should make him still playable even for longer durations despite being negligible on that end.
PJ Tucker’s minutes this season could be on a downward trend, but his importance on the team as a leader on and off the court is too valuable. So while he may be 38 years old, expect the Philadelphia 76ers to bank on a medium-to-heavy dosage of the veteran in his second go-round with the team.