10 People who turned their back on the Miami Heat

Here are players, a coach, an analyst, and a general manager who we believe "turned their backs" on the Miami Heat organization -- some more than others.

Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers
Miami Heat v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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6. P.J. Tucker

P.J. Tucker
Philadelphia 76ers v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
  • Years played with the Heat: (2021-2022)
  • Significance of his contribution: Tucker epitomized the principles of Heat Culture, serving as an ideal small-ball power forward alongside center Bam Adebayo. He displayed a readiness to undertake any necessary task to contribute to the team's success.

Former Miami Heat power forward P.J. Tucker had originally intended to continue his basketball career with Miami, but unfortunately, certain circumstances prevented this from happening. This move came after a highly productive season with the Heat, where they came close to reaching the NBA Finals. 

Ultimately, Tucker's choice to join the 76ers was primarily influenced by financial considerations. Although the Heat was interested in bringing Tucker back, they were not willing to match the financial commitment made by Philadelphia. Sources familiar with the situation revealed that Miami's offer capped at a fully guaranteed $26.5 million for three seasons, utilizing the non-Bird exception.

P.J. sought the full mid-level exception, and the Sixers were willing to meet his demands for more money. While the Heat had the option to match the 76ers' offer and retain Tucker, they were hesitant to use the $10.5 million non-taxpayer midlevel exception that Philadelphia had utilized to sign him. Despite his desire to stay, Consequently, Tucker ultimately decided to accept a more lucrative offer from the 76ers during the free agency period last summer. A fully guaranteed three-year contract worth $33 million. 

The interest the 76ers had in Tucker became evident immediately after the team was eliminated by the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals last spring. Joel Embiid specifically mentioned Tucker's name when discussing the team's shortcomings. Responding to Embiid's remarks, Philadelphia's front office pursued Tucker aggressively and offered him a lucrative deal. However, their eagerness to secure his services led to the organization being found guilty of tampering, resulting in the loss of a second-round draft pick. 

While it is understandable that Tucker prioritized financial gain, it is also reasonable for Philadelphia fans to feel a slight sense of annoyance knowing that their team's top offseason addition would have preferred to be elsewhere. Despite only spending a year with the Heat, Tucker brought a level of competitiveness that was appreciated by both fans and teammates.

Tucker holds no ill feelings towards Miami and instead looks back fondly on his time with the team. He along with James Harden were traded to the LA Clippers in November of last year. P.J. expressed unhappiness with his lack of a role on multiple occasions and requested a trade at this year's deadline. However, Tucker was denied and fined $75,000 for what the league called "public comments about expressing a desire to be traded."