NBA rumors: Many contenders interested in PJ Tucker

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN during a pregame appearance on NBA Countdown, the Lakers also are looking hard at P.J. Tucker: “The Lakers have been active. I know they’ve made calls about some wing players to see if there is some shooting available out there. Another player they’re interested in: P.J. Tucker, from the Houston Rockets. There’s a lot of interest among contenders in Tucker, who’s in the last year of his deal. The Miami Heat, who the Lakers play tonight, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, several others.

More on PJ Tucker Trade?

Following Harden’s trade to the Nets, The Athletic reported on several teams inquiring about Tucker’s availability. As the trade deadline approaches, that interest is still alive and well around the league from contenders. Sources say teams such as Brooklyn, Utah and Denver all have sniffed around, and there certainly will be other contenders looking to improve heading into the second half of the season (both Los Angeles teams come to mind). Tucker is still a player who can help a winning team, likely more valuable to organizations with deep playoff runs in mind than a team like Houston that is transitioning.
It is also getting close to one part of every season, with the trade deadline a little more than a month away. “It’s a business, man,” said Rockets forward/center P.J. Tucker, who is in the final season of his contract and will be part of trade speculation until he is dealt or the deadline passes. “That’s the only thing I tell (teammates). You focus on today. Obviously, it can change on any day. But you have to keep your focus on what you’ve got going on that day, what team you’re on that day, and take care of your business.”
Executives around the league view DiVincenzo as the most valuable asset the Bucks have, ahead of first-round pick swaps in 2021 and 2023, and five second-round picks through 2027. They don’t have much to offer. League sources told me in November that the Bucks were in pursuit of P.J. Tucker from the Rockets. Their interest remains unchanged today. Tucker would absolutely help. He remains a stout defender who could thrive in small-ball lineups next to Giannis. Tucker turns 36 in May and will be a free agent this offseason, but the trade possibilities are limited with an empty asset cupboard.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN during a pregame appearance on NBA Countdown, the Lakers also are looking hard at P.J. Tucker: “The Lakers have been active. I know they’ve made calls about some wing players to see if there is some shooting available out there. Another player they’re interested in: P.J. Tucker, from the Houston Rockets. There’s a lot of interest among contenders in Tucker, who’s in the last year of his deal. The Miami Heat, who the Lakers play tonight, Milwaukee, Brooklyn, several others. One thing I’m told is that Houston wants back not picks, but a player that they can plug back into their lineup.”
Now that you’ve gotten to sit with it a bit, I’m just curious if you have any thoughts on the Harden trade and how that all went down. I know you guys were pretty close when he was on the team. PJ Tucker: It’s just one of those things. It’s a business, man, it’s a business. Our team [the Houston Rockets] has made a lot of changes and [Harden] felt like in his prime that he wanted a chance to win it, which we all do. I want the same thing. If the opportunity is there to be able to change that right now… I mean, at the end of the day—Kyrie, KD, and then James, it’s hard to go against that. I think it’s a good opportunity for him.
On a recent episode of The Hoop Collective, basketball insider Brian Windhorst hinted at what it would take to trade for Tucker (via ESPN): “The word on the street that I heard that has been floated: they either want a first-round pick or three seconds, which I’ve never heard that arithmetic done. Three seconds … There are fifteen teams that are somewhat impacted from trading firsts and eight who can’t really trade any, sort of narrows the market. Most of the competitors, most of the teams who are playoff teams this year, are encumbered from trading their pick.”
Sources say Tucker is prepared to play for Houston for the season even without his future tied down, but he is not opposed to a trade should one materialize. It’s understood that an extension offer is on the table at this point, but Tucker has not accepted it. Teams have already made a number of phone calls to Houston about potentially acquiring Tucker.
Sources also say the Rockets plan to be very aggressive with the sizable trade exception generated from the Harden trade and want to use it to get an additional quality player. Multiple teams have called about Tucker’s availability in wake of Harden’s departure. As far as an extension in Houston is concerned, sources say Tucker has tabled those discussions for now.
People around the league wonder what Rockets general manager Rafael Stone will do next following the Harden blockbuster. As I reported last week, Victor Oladipo, an impending free agent, has eyes for Miami. Could the Heat, or another team looking to contend—such as the Nuggets or Celtics—try to acquire him? And how about P.J. Tucker? Numerous teams have already inquired about the stout versatile defender, and league sources say Houston is currently demanding three second-round draft picks for the upcoming unrestricted free agent.
The Timberwolves have been monitoring P.J. Tucker’s situation in Houston since before the draft, and there now is reason to believe that the Rockets’ rugged frontcourt fire hydrant is finally available. The Rockets finally relented to James Harden’s trade demand, and that should open the door for them to move the 35-year-old Tucker. The Wolves have maintained contact with the Rockets on Tucker and were expected to re-engage now that Harden is gone, sources told The Athletic.
Multiple executives believe the Rockets will eventually trade PJ Tucker by the trade deadline. “I think Houston can move PJ in a separate deal later,” one executive told HoopsHype. “He will have value in the East, especially to combat Giannis and Durant. I can see Miami going after PJ and maybe even Boston.”
The Rockets may not be done trading, either. The Athletic’s Kelly Iko reported that multiple teams have inquired about lockdown defender P.J. Tucker. Two league sources tell me Tucker’s value around the league is the range of three second-round picks.
Marc Stein: Houston is increasingly determined to complete a James Harden trade as soon as today, league sources say, and has chased the promising Maxey in addition to Simmons Philly is known to covet Houston's PJ Tucker in addition to Harden while the Nets have also remained in pursuit
David Hardisty: PJ Tucker: "I want to be where whoever wants me. That's the kind of player I am. I leave my heart on the floor every night. I want to be where I'm wanted."
Darren Wolfson: The Wolves have interest in PJ Tucker. So if Houston blows this thing up, and if you move James Harden, you're blowing things up... Would they move pending free agent PJ Tucker? If so, I imagine the wolves would have interest.
Bobby Marks: I think an interesting name is PJ Tucker in Houston. I think that’s going to be fascinating because Tucker is on an expiring contract who wants an extension. This guy is an ironman. He doesn’t miss games. He plays multiple positions. He is a team-first player. He’s on a really good number close to $8 million. I think he’s a name to keep an eye on.
HEATexpert: If Harden is traded, does that then make the other guys available? Eric Gordon, RoCo, PJ Tucker, Austin Rivers? Greg Sylvander: Yes and Heat have checked in on PJ Tucker.
Multiple league sources say the Bucks are active in trade discussions; they’re looking to move on from Eric Bledsoe, and have offered him to several teams. They’re also in pursuit of Rockets forwards Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker; Houston doesn’t have a pick in this draft and is moving toward a retooling period with Russell Westbrook wanting out. If the Bucks stay here, or even if the pick is traded, it’s hard to see Anthony dropping any further. He was a top high-school recruit and a projected lottery pick heading into the season. He had a disastrous freshman season at North Carolina, but his shot-creation skills could ultimately add a lot to any offense he’s part of.
[The Bucks are] also in pursuit of Rockets forwards Robert Covington and P.J. Tucker; Houston doesn’t have a pick in this draft and is moving toward a retooling period with Russell Westbrook wanting out.
Mark Berman: PJ Tucker on ESPN reporting the #Rockets are trying to trade him to get a 1st-round pick:"It is what it is. It's a part of the business. The last 2years I've been w/the Rockets I've done nothing but bring what I bring every single game throughout the regular season & the playoffs"

https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1143977957637181440
Adrian Wojnarowski: Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
As for Tucker, he’d love to have extension talks take place this summer, two people close to Tucker have stated. From what The Athletic understands, both sides have discussed his long-term future. Houston is enamored with Tucker, wants him to retire here and has even discussed a role for him within the team when his playing days are up. Despite the reports stating everyone save Harden is available, any Tucker trade would come at the strong disapproval of both Coach D’Antoni and James Harden.
Stefano Fusaro: Jimmy Butler update: According to a league source, The Wolves contacted the Rockets again Tuesday morning, after their failed deal with Miami this past weekend. Minnesota was still adamant on receiving Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker, but Houston will not put Tucker on the table.
The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday they have acquired forward P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for forward Jared Sullinger, second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018 and cash considerations.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Phoenix Suns are trading PJ Tucker to the Toronto Raptors, league source tells @The Vertical.
Sean Deveney: Suns patiently waiting on PJ Tucker. Offers on the table, but they're hoping a slow trade day boosts value, gets back a decent 1st rd pick
Marc Stein: In addition to P.J. Tucker, Toronto has also pursued Wilson Chandler, league sources say. Denver, like Phoenix, wants a first-rounder back.
The Celtics have identified a small group of role players they could have interest in acquiring, and Suns forward P.J. Tucker is among them. But Boston will not go overboard or hinder its flexibility chasing these deals, and it has no plans to relinquish a future first-round pick for a player like Tucker, who would simply offer some assistance off the bench, a source said.
Phoenix is taking calls on most of its veterans, with P.J. Tucker the best candidate to move, sources say. (Watch the Raptors and Clips, among others.) I'd be surprised -- and impressed -- if Phoenix got a first-rounder for him.
They can do that without Butler, instead trying to make a minor move for a contributor like Suns forward P.J. Tucker. Boston has expressed deep interest in Tucker ahead of the deadline, a source said. Get Tucker, and the Celtics can add depth without giving up on a potential No. 1 pick. And there is cap space available this summer to sign a player in free agency. Without trading for Butler, Boston could keep the pick and get a name player this summer.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Phoenix Suns have veteran players in PJ Tucker, in Tyson Chandler and in Brandon Knight, who they have been shopping around the league, trying to find a way to get them off to bring in more picks or another young player.
Ryan McDonough: P.J. Tucker does have a lot of interest around the league, as you would imagine, especially from contending teams or teams that want to solidify themselves as playoff teams. But we really value P.J. What we’re going to do over the next week, I don’t know, but he’s certainly a guy who’s played well for us and we have some interest in playing for us beyond this year as well.
Elhassan agrees he’s the most tradeable player, but he’s not sure the Suns will end up getting a first-round pick like McDonough wants. Phoenix might have to settle for a second-rounder McDonough said he doesn’t want. “Well here’s the problem. Everyone says the Suns’ asking price for him is ridiculous,” Elhassan said. “Teams hang up the phone laughing because you’re not going to get that kind of a return for a guy that old for a contract that’s going to expire. A good second-round pick I would (take). He’s going to be a free agent. So you either get something or you get nothing.”
The Timberwolves offered Shabazz Muhammad for Tucker, a league source told Basketball Insiders. Muhammad is set to enter restricted free agency this summer with a $4.2 million qualifying offer.
“Just somewhere that fits me,” Tucker told Basketball Insiders. “Phoenix has been great to me. I’ve been here five years. It’s been a great five years, somewhere I would love to be for a long time. So places like this, where I just fit and they understand me and let me be myself. It’s a big factor for me.”
P.J. Tucker knows his name is out there. He knows the NBA trade deadline is about a month away. The Suns forward -- in the final year of his contract -- tries to block it out. "It’s part of business,'' Tucker said Thursday. "Contract year. Being a defensive player, a lot of teams are looking to make an addition to (help) fight for a championship. But for me, it’s just focusing on being with my team and trying to win games. It happens every contract year. A lot of talk. A lot of it’s just rumors and people talking, but you never know in business. You just try to stay ready and block it out."
Tucker -- making $5.5 million this season -- said it's flattering to draw outside attention. He also said he loves where he is. "I’ve made my life in Phoenix,'' he said. "I’ve been here so long. My kids are in school. I just feel part of the community. It’s definitely a place that I love."
The Clippers have offered a future second-round pick for Suns forward P.J. Tucker -- who is said to have a not-so-secret admirer in Doc Rivers -- but sources say Phoenix is holding out for a first-rounder in exchange for the rugged defensive specialist.
With the NBA trade deadline just about a month away, one Phoenix Suns player is garnering a lot of interest from contending teams. Let’s call the market for soon to be free agent PJ Tucker robust. According to my NBA sources, the Clippers, Bulls, Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Hawks all have interest in acquiring the lock-down physical defender who is in the last year of his contract at just $5.3 million.
An NBA source said the Knicks aren’t planning to pursue Suns defensive forward P.J. Tucker despite his ties with Hornacek. Tucker shut down Carmelo Anthony in last month’s meeting between the teams and Hornacek regarded him as one of his favorite players in Phoenix. Tucker said upon Hornacek’s return to Phoenix last month, “It was really tough watching an amazing coach” get fired.
The trade deadline is less than two months away, and the Knicks, like every other team in the NBA, are looking at their options. It doesn’t seem as if any move is imminent, but some members of the Knicks' front office have labeled Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker as a potential trade target, league sources told ESPN.com.
Paul Coro: P.J. Tucker is among the Suns' better assets but a source said the Suns have told him that he will not be traded before today's deadline.
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April 18, 2021 | 3:21 am EDT Update

Freddie Gillespie to get second 10-day deal with Raptors

Blake Murphy: Freddie Gillespie will sign a second 10-day contract with the Raptors tomorrow, per a source. No surprise. He played a lot by 10-day standards, impressed, and had Nick Nurse publicly vouch. Would think a partial guarantee through 2021-22 comes Apr 28, barring the unforeseen.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 5 more rumors
“I wouldn’t say (my passion has been) taken away, that’s probably a little bit too strong,” VanVleet said on Saturday. “But there’s certainly ups and downs to this thing more than I’ve ever experienced in my life. To be honest, this is probably the most unpure year of basketball I’ve ever been a part of, just from the whole league and rushing the season back. “It’s pretty much all about business this year on every level and it’s hard to hide it, you know what I’m saying? The NBA is a great balance of like the pure love and joy of one of the best sports in the world mixed with a billion-dollar industry, and I think this year the industry side has taken precedence over some of the love and the joy.”
“I can sit up here and complain about the NBA all I want to, but I’m a part of it, you know what I’m saying?” VanVleet said. “I’m directly profiting off of it. We did vote on what season we wanted. “But I can point out that this is what it is, and (these are the) the pros and cons that come with that. It’s very conflicting but not so much (because) of my craft, because I just go out there and that’s the way I play and that’s the way I approach every day. I’m (going to) take whatever consequences come with that because this is what I signed up for. But there’s certainly a lot of information that plays a role in all of these things that we’re seeing with our eyes. It’s not as simple as it looks all the time.”
After Celtics star Jayson Tatum scored 44 points to lead his team to a 119-114 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, overcoming a spectacular 47-point performance from Stephen Curry in the process, Tatum said it was a thrill for him to go toe-to-toe with the future Hall of Famer and come out on top. “Just mutual respect,” Tatum said, when asked about the conversation the two had on the court inside TD Garden afterward. “Obviously two big performances. I was glad that we got the win, but obviously he’s one of the all-time greats. “Just to earn his respect and get a win on the same night … it was a good night.”
Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry scored 47 points on Saturday night, becoming the first player since Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant to score at least 30 or more points in 10 straight games at age 33 or older. Curry, in his 12th NBA season, acknowledged that this is one of the best stretches he’s ever been on during his storied career.
“Statistically, it is for sure,” Curry said after the 119-114 loss to the Boston Celtics. “This season’s required something a little bit different. I’m trying to meet that moment. It’s a fun brand of basketball, just trying to put wins together with it. And I have supreme confidence; I’ve been blessed with a very special skillset that I’m trying to continue to master and hone and get better at. And that’s showing, the work is showing, so I’m trying to obviously sustain that for this season because it’s required for us to get to where we want to go.”
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