P.J. Tucker wasn’t entirely willing to leave South Beach in last year’s free agency, but a much better opportunity up in North Philly ultimately convinced him to pack his bags.
Tucker told Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald that he openly expressed his desire to remain in the Miami Heat, but he didn’t settle to commit to a new contract with them that he believes doesn’t match his output.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to leave,” Tucker said. “I expressed that I didn’t want to leave. But their situation and them not wanting to be hard-capped, I knew it was going to be a possibility. My family is still there. So I obviously wanted to be there, but it didn’t work out.”
Tucker perhaps enjoyed the best season of his career in his lone season in Miami, wherein he averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 boards, and a career-best 41.5 percent three-point efficiency. His experience, leadership, and trusted defensive wits eventually aided the Heat to make their way up to the Eastern Conference Finals.
With his value reaching the peak, the 37-year-old Tucker ultimately capitalized his chance to earn the very last lucrative paycheck he can get in his career, inking a fully-guaranteed three-year, $33 million deal with the Sixers.
“I think they wanted the negotiations to be a little slower than it was,” Tucker referring to the Heat. “Just because of the interest right off the bat.
“Nobody thought I was going to get three years and then to get multiple offers for a full three years, I was ready to move and figure it out.”