Ranking every player on the 76ers roster ahead of 2023 playoffs

P.J. Tucker, James Harden, De'Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker, James Harden, De'Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

93. . F. Philadelphia 76ers. P.J. Tucker. 6. player

P.J. Tucker’s offensive decline has been stark, but even at 37 years of age, the grizzled veteran can exert an outsized impact on the game defensively. His complete shutdown of Nikola Jokic in January sticks in the mind. He is Philly’s primary answer to Giannis, Tatum, and all the heavyweight wings the Sixers will have to face en route to a championship.

He’s still one of the most versatile defenders in the NBA, one of the few players who can genuinely switch 1-5. The Sixers are widely expected to deploy Tucker as Embiid’s primary “backup” once the playoffs arrive. Now, it’s just a matter of whether or not he can hit enough corner 3s to stay on the floor.

93. . G. Philadelphia 76ers. De'Anthony Melton. 5. player

De’Anthony Melton has been an absolute menace on the defensive end, averaging 1.7 steals per game (a new career high) and inserting himself into the NBA All-Defense conversation. Alongside Tucker, Melton is frequently tasked with Philadelphia’s toughest defensive assingments.

He’s currently entrenched as the sixth man, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Melton outplay Tucker and maybe even Tobias Harris in certain playoff matchups. His ability to generate turnovers and shut down ball-handlers is going to hold significant value in the playoffs. Plus, he’s a borderline elite spot-up shooter who has progressed considerably as a slasher and connective playmaker in his first season with the Sixers.

93. . F. Philadelphia 76ers. Tobias Harris. 4. player

Tobias Harris has fluctuated between fully realized role player and fish-out-of-water depending on the night. When he’s committed to launching 3s and making quick decisions with the ball, Harris can make fans forget about that massive contract. When he tries to do too much, the opposite is true. Harris may be paid like a star, but the Sixers are at their best when Harris commits to the less-is-more approach.

On balance, Harris continues to be extremely positive in the starting five. He’s an efficient shooter who can bully mismatches in the post and occasionally break the offense out of a funk. His ability to elevate into a bigger role when stars sit is underappreciated too. Also worth mentioning is the volume of important defensive assignments Harris tends to handle these days.