Report: 76ers targeting Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker

NBA: FEB 06 Rockets at Lakers
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 06: Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (10) laughs before the Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers game on February 06, 2020, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

The Sixers are hitting the rumor mill this offseason with the latest word that President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is looking to get the gang back together. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, the Philadelphia 76ers are interested in acquiring current Rocket Eric Gordon and former Rocket P.J. Tucker.

Neither rumor is exactly surprising as the Sixers have long been connected to both Gordon and Tucker, seemingly since Morey came to the team in 2020. Both players fit various needs for Philadelphia, Gordon as a backup guard with playmaking ability and Tucker as a hard-nosed versatile 3&D forward.

Should the 76ers target Eric Gordon?

Last season for the Houston Rockets, Gordon enjoyed a career-year last season. His scoring may have tied the lowest in his career (13.4 points per game), but in terms of efficiency, averaging career-highs in shooting percentage (47.5%), three-point percentage (41.2), and true shooting percentage (31.4%). There’s no telling if this trend will continue, but if it does, the Sixers would certainly be adding a sharp offensive weapon.

The question, however, can certainly be asked if it makes much sense for Philadelphia to target such an expensive — at least in regards to salary — player. Gordon is slated to make $19.5 million next season, and while he does not have any guaranteed money after that, matching salary to even complete the trade would be complex. Philadelphia will also be in a bidding war for Gordon’s services, according to Windhors. The ESPN analyst stated that the Phoenix Suns, who pursue Gordon heavily at the deadline, are also expected to be interested. This will only increase the already high asking price, adding to the many questions surrounding the potential acquisition.

Should the 76ers target P.J. Tucker?

As far as Tucker is concerned, 76ers superstar Joel Embiid even effectively campaigned for the super role-player following the team’s postseason loss to the Miami Heat. While Embiid made sure to use a simile when describing the type of player the Philadelphia 76ers need, who is a “P.J. Tucker-type” more than the man himself?

Tucker averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds and, like Eric Gordon, saw career numbers in field goal percentage (48.4%, three-point percentage (41.5%), and true-shooting percentage (59.3%). The veteran forward also played tough, energetic defense and helped carry the aggressive Heat culture on the court for Miami. This would be something the 76ers — especially Joel Embiid — would hope he would bring to Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey reported late Tuesday night that the 76ers intend to offer Tucker a three-year, $30 million contract which would pay Tucker until his age 39/40 season. That may give some pause as to how wise a signing like that would be, but it’s entirely possible that the final year could be either a team option or non-guaranteed similar to Danny Green’s contract.

There is still plenty that can happen between now and the start of free agency on July 1st — technically June 30th at 6:00 PM Eastern Time — but it at least looks like the framework of the 76ers’ offseason plan is starting to become visible. With the NBA draft right around the corner, rumors around the league are about to intensify very quickly, with the Philadelphia 76ers will almost certainly be involved.