Joel Embiid gets his tough guy

At the end of last season, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid wanted the 76ers to find a tough guy, and he mentioned P.J. Tucker.

Here’s what Embiid had to say after losing to Heat in the second round of the playoffs:

“When you have size and toughness, you look at someone like P.J. Tucker,” Embiid said. “A great player, but it’s not about him knocking down shots. It’s about what he does, whether it’s on the defensive end or rebounding the ball.”

Well, wish long and hard, and your dreams might come true.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the 37-year-old Tucker is finalizing a three-year, $33.2 million fully guaranteed deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 11-year veteran, who won a title in Milwaukee in 2021 before joining the Heat last season, averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 41% from deep in the 2021-22 season. 

“This team is good enough to compete head-to-head with anybody in the league, and I’m going to come in here and do whatever I can to help get us to that next level,” Tucker said via a release from the team announcing the move.. “Philly fans demand greatness and it will be up to us to get to where we need to be in order to accomplish our goals. I’m excited to get to work.”

Tucker can guard multiple positions and is the tough guy Philly needs to compete in the ever-tough Eastern Conference. 

In addition to Tucker, Philly added free agent guard/forward Danuel House, who, according to The Athletic’s Sham Charania, agreed to a deal with the team. Last season, the 29-year-old House spent time with the Rockets, Knicks, and Jazz. In 42 games, House averaged 5.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per contest.

Also, the 76ers added guard Trevelin Queen, the reigning G League MVP, who finished fifth in scoring at 25.3 points per game while leading the G League in steals with an average of 3.2. Queen helped Rio Grande Valley capture the 2022 NBA G League title.

In 19 games (all starts) with the Vipers, the 25-year-old Queen also averaged 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 35.0 minutes per contest.

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