Philadelphia 76ers

Rayjon Tucker, The Important Under-the-Radar Sixers Free Agent

|
Image for Rayjon Tucker, The Important Under-the-Radar Sixers Free Agent

He may not get the shine of some other potential offseason moves, but bringing back Rayjon Tucker could prove a worthy gamble for the Sixers.

With the Sixers offseason upon us, decisions will need to be made regarding the future of their roster. While conversations will be dominated by the potential trade of Ben Simmons, as well as the free agency of Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, and even Dwight Howard– it could prove a worthy bet to resign a guy that has played just 14 games in a Sixers uniform. Even though he is extremely unproven and undoubtedly raw, it would prove to be a wise bet for the Sixers to resign Rayjon Tucker.


Who is Rayjon Tucker?

The 23-year old uber-athletic guard stands 6’3 and has become known for his dunk-contest caliber slams. The University of Arkansas Little Rock product went undrafted in 2019 despite averaging 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds in his final year of college. He played 20 games with the Utah Jazz last season and 14 games with the Sixers this year but played limited minutes in each role.

While his highlight-reel dunks deservingly draw attention to his game, there is more to Tucker’s play than just this. He plays bigger than his frame would suggest and flashes potential as a playmaker while being a capable ball-handler. The two-year vet is not a prototypical NBA guard but has enough in his game that could translate to a bigger stage.

Rayjon Tucker played in just 68 total minutes this season, in which he tallied 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists. This is far too small of a sample size to analyze his impact on the court, but it was clear Tucker brought a boost in effort and flashed a more advanced polish to his game for a guy that still has so much growing to do.


Time with Delaware Blue-Coats

After inking a two-way contract for the remainder of the season, Rayjon also spent some time in the G-League with the Delaware Blue-Coats. In the 15 games down in Delaware, Tucker averaged 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 33 minutes per game. The most notable takeaway from his time with the Blue-Coats was the growth in decision-making and feel for the game. The 3.1 turnovers per game still need improvement, but if he can continue to develop as a passer, it would open things up for his NBA potential in a massive way.

In addition to improving on his ability to run an offense, Tucker could also sharpen up his shooting. He is a willing shooter and attempted 5.1 three-point attempts but connected at just a 30.3% rate. An NBA roster can never have enough shooting, and the guys at the bottom of the roster need to be able to step into this role. There are no mechanical issues with his stroke, and there is reason to believe it is better than his numbers indicate.

In his previous season in the G-League, Tucker attempted 5.7 three-pointers and shot 35.8% from beyond the arc. In his final year of college at Little Rock, the athletic guard attempted 5.8 threes and shot 41.1% on these attempts. His athletic prowess and impressive finishing ability will always be the focal point to his game, but if Tucker can improve his shooting splits by a few percentage points, it would make a positive impact in raising his potential for NBA minutes.


What Could A Contract Look Like?

It is unclear what the market is for Rayjon Tucker, but he certainly fits the bill for a low-risk, high-reward deal. He will certainly seek out a full NBA deal, but it is important to note that Tucker remains eligible for a two-way deal. Each NBA team is limited to two of these contracts per year, and players who have four or fewer years of experience are eligible to ink these deals. Since he has been a professional for just two years, the former undrafted free agent could come back on a similar deal to what he was on last year.

When looking at the guards under contract for next season, the Sixers have Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Shake Milton, Tyrese Maxey, Isaiah Joe, and likely George Hill on the books. Even adding Tucker on a full deal could prove beneficial as it is unlikely he will be offered anything more than a minimum deal. There is still a great deal that is uncertain regarding what Rayjon Tucker can bring to the table. But in his limited minutes, he has shown there to be enough intrigue to make it certain he is a player worth gambling on.

Even if he is back, it should not be expected for Tucker to be pounding on the door for minutes in the regular rotation, but the Sixers could do much worse when searching for players to round out the bottom of their roster. His pit bull-like mentality and play style is a fit for Philadelphia, and handing him a new contract has the potential to be a great long-term investment.

With the Sixers offseason upon us, decisions will need to be made regarding the future of their roster. While conversations will be dominated by the potential trade of Ben Simmons, as well as the free agency of Danny Green, Furkan Korkmaz, and even Dwight Howard– it could prove a worthy bet to resign a guy that has played just 14 games in a Sixers uniform. Even though he is extremely unproven and undoubtedly raw, it would prove to be a wise bet for the Sixers to resign Rayjon Tucker.

Share this article

Lead Sixers Writer for Philly Sports Network and Co-host of the Pick Swap Podcast. Trust the Process

Twitter: @Sean_Barnard1 and @PickSwapPod

Email: sean.barnard17@gmail.com

Leave a Reply