Sixers: 8 possible free agents for mid-level exception

Paul Millsap (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Paul Millsap (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers enter this offseason with a lot of unanswered questions. One of them is quite simple: how will Daryl Morey use the roughly $5.9 million taxpayer’s mid-level exception at his disposal in free agency. Depth is a long-running need for the Sixers, and that kind of money can yield a valuable contributor.

Morey famously did not use the mid-level exception last offseason, instead holding out hope for a buyout market that never developed, and letting it fall by the wayside as Atlanta sent Philadelphia home in the second round. One would not expect Morey to sit so idly this offseason.

Here are eight players who are worthy of consideration for all, or at least some, of the Sixers’ mid-level exception money.

Possible free agents for Sixers’ mid-level exception: P.J. Tucker

The Sixers not-so-secretly tried to trade for P.J. Tucker this season, but Houston’s ongoing refusal to deal with Daryl Morey landed him in Milwaukee. Tucker has already played a key role in Milwaukee’s run to the conference finals — a run that may soon extend to the NBA Finals.

It was Tucker who drew the Kevin Durant assignment in round two, and he did as good a job as one could expect. Durant still got his, being the best player in the NBA and all, but Tucker made life difficult and played his part offensively, to boot.

Tucker would provide a lot of value to the Sixers’ second unit. He can play small-ball five, or share the court with Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris if the Sixers go for tall-ball. He can defend multiple positions, and he’s a corner sharpshooter who can hit a healthy dose of spot-up 3s.

The Sixers needed more size and physicality in the second unit this postseason, and that need will linger into 2021-22 — especially if Ben Simmons gets traded for a smaller guard. Tucker is 36 years old and not getting younger, but there’s reason to believe his razor-sharp focus and work ethic will carry into next season and beyond. Plus, he already has a relationship with Morey, which could work in Philadelphia’s favor.