Philadelphia 76ers fans have now had a week to let the James Harden trade sink in. The deal with the LA Clippers, which saw seven players involved, didn't exactly catch the 76ers faithful off guard — it was a long time coming — but it did surprise a few individuals.
New York Post's Stefan Bondy reports that P.J. Tucker was "blindsided" by the deal that sent him to the City of Angels. The juicy part of the interview is that the 38-year-old veteran also revealed that he believes that Joel Embiid didn't see the trade coming, either.
""I wasn’t expecting to get traded, so I didn’t know. It kind of came out of nowhere. And from what I know, [Embiid] didn’t know either. But you never know with this stuff, man. It’s the NBA.""- P.J. Tucker
The good news is that Tucker doesn't hold any ill will towards the 76ers organization, stating that he knows he was a "casualty" of "James' situation."
Still, it wasn't too shocking to see Tucker as a part of the Harden deal. While the ex-Texas Longhorn is still defensively reliable on a good day, his three-year, $33 million deal became an albatross around the Sixers' neck the second he signed it in July 2022.
Moving him as soon as possible and using that money elsewhere became a necessity if Philly wanted to challenge for a title.
On the other, Bondy adds that Embiid pushed for Tucker to be signed in the first place. If the 76ers hope to keep their superstar center around for the foreseeable future, trading one of his favorite teammates likely won't help.
Tucker's revelations came amid trade rumors surrounding Embiid. While any potential deal likely isn't imminent, that hasn't stopped reporters from linking the 76ers to potential suitors like the New York Knicks, who've reportedly previously made an offer for the All-NBA talent that was rejected.
Unless Embiid outright demands a trade, it's best to assume that he's staying put. The 76ers are tied for first in the Eastern Conference with a 5-1 record, so it isn't as if our championship outlook is dire.
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