Miami Heat: The ‘P.J. Tucker FA Market’ Is Really Heating Up

The Miami Heat had to have seen this coming. It was apparent, as P.J. Tucker insinuated that his classification of a “mid-level guy” didn’t really sit right with him.

Though that’s what his $7.2 million dollar salary may have indicated, his impact on the Miami Heat this past season was nothing short of star-like.

Though he didn’t fill up the scoring column on a nightly basis, he often took on one of the hardest defensive assignments, gave his body up as an undersized four-man, and hit the corner three-ball with the same extreme accuracy and efficiency that he’s come to be known for.

So, it actually makes pretty good sense that he is seeking to maximize his value where he can. After a year like the one he just had, many and including those around the Miami Heat probably saw this one coming.

As insinuated by Tucker himself though, according to Tim Reynolds above, both sides should be eager to work something out. The free-agent market won’t make that easy on the Miami Heat though.

With reports beginning to emanate, almost, as soon as it was announced that he would opt out of his second season with Miami, there is another team or two in the mix for his services. One of them features his old boss and old running mate.

Here is an excerpt from a report on that scenario from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Miami Heat need to do all they can to retain P.J. Tucker’s services. However, the free agent market won’t make it easy on them.

But it became public on Monday that Tucker would opt out of his $7.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season with the Miami Heat to become a free agent. Multiple sources have the Sixers intending to offer him a three-year, $30 million contract. Time will tell what will happen. But a source added that there’s mutual interest between Tucker, 37, and the Sixers.

While the $30 million dollars with Philly is enough to widen the eyes of those that write the checks for the Miami Heat, the interest in the do it all utility man doesn’t stop there. It’s not that shocking either, because who wouldn’t want a P.J. Tucker on their team?

According to the Daily News, there are several more teams interested in Tucker’s services. Here is a quote from that report.

Tucker would fit in perfectly: He just turned 37 years old but is a corner three specialist who doubles as one of the grittiest, most physical perimeter defenders in all of basketball. Last season with the Heat, Tucker averaged about eight points, six rebounds and two assists on 41% shooting from three-point range. He also played a key role in supporting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks as they not only eliminated the Nets out of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, but also went on to beat the Phoenix Suns in 2021 NBA Finals.

The Nets aren’t the only contender with interest in Tucker’s services. Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks are also expected to make a run at Tucker’s services, another source told The News.

So, while the Miami Heat need to do all they can to bring back their Swiss Army Knife, it won’t be easy. Hopefully, there is a real connection there between Tucker, his teammates, and the organization in order that they come out on the right side of things in the end.