James Harden could opt out of deal to help Sixers sign P.J. Tucker

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The free agency period in the NBA opens on Thursday evening at 6 p.m. EST and the Philadelphia 76ers have their eyes on rebuilding their depth and bringing in P.J. Tucker on a deal.

The Sixers had to give up a lot in order to acquire James Harden and now is the time to rebuild that and build a stronger roster and contend in the Eastern Conference. The addition of Tucker is viewed as a piece that can help them get over the top in the East and help push them in the right direction again.

At the moment, the Sixers do not have the cap space in order to sign Tucker to that 3-year $30 million deal he is expecting to receive from Philadelphia. In order to clear cap space, the Sixers will have to make some trades, but if Harden decides to opt out of his player option and restructure his deal, that could help facilitate them bringing in Tucker.

Per Brian Windhorst on ESPN’s “Get Up” ahead of the 5 p.m. EST Wednesday deadline for Harden to make his decision:

James Harden is going to remain with Philly in a medium term contract, probably not a 5-year deal, but maybe a 3-year deal, maybe a 4-year depending on the guarantee, but I don’t think we should assume necessarily that he’s going to opt into that $47 million. And maybe this is one of the reasons why it’s coming down to today’s deadline. Philly needs to rebuild the depth that they lost in that trade and if Harden is willing to take less of the max, which it appears that he is going to, he could opt out of that contract, lower his salary down from $47 million for next year as part of a new deal that guarantees him probably over $100 million, and then that would free the Sixers to use their full $10 million mid-level exception. They already made one move last week but they traded for De’Anthony Melton at the draft to support their bench. They could potentially look to sign a guy like P.J. Tucker, but to fit P.J. Tucker on their books, they’re gonna have to offload some money, and one of the ways they can do it is by Harden restructuring that contract.

It is a foregone conclusion that Harden will be in Philadelphia for a few years, at least. President Daryl Morey loves him and the two sides will have to decide how they want to move forward with this. Harden opting out will be a big help in order to acquire Tucker when free agency opens.

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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