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.
Michael Singer: The Nuggets have always liked P.J. Tucker, but as of this evening, they haven't reached out to the Rockets about him, a source told @denverpost.
Kelly Iko: Multiple teams have inquired about P.J. Tucker’s availability and have expressed interest in acquiring the veteran forward, sources tell @TheAthletic.
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
Multiple teams have expressed interest in trading for Tucker if he’s made available, leaguesources told HoopsHype.
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.
Jon Krawczynski: I think one name to watch closely is PJ Tucker from Houston. James Harden is trying to get himself out of Houston sooner than later. And so if the Rockets do decide to trade James Harden, there's going to be a fire sale on veterans there and PJ Tucker would be at the top of the list for the Timberwolves to go after, for many teams to go after.
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"
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.
The Heat is expected to check in with Houston on available players (Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon) but not sure there’s an ideal match there. Memphis’ Mike Conley remains among several possibilities.
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.
The Rockets are indeed shopping everyone on the roster not named Harden. The complexities involved in moving Chris Paul, who at age 34 has three years and nearly $125 million left on his contract, have Houston officials actively exploring the trade market for Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and P.J. Tucker.
As one source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said, they are operating under the belief that at least one of those three mainstays will not be a Rocket next season.
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.
Eric Pincus: The Toronto Raptors will also pay out to Phoenix, a cool mil for PJ Tucker @BBallInsiders
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: Sources: Toronto is sending Phoenix its 2017 and 2018 second-round picks in the Tucker trade.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Toronto is sending Jared Sullinger and two future second-round picks to Phoenix for PJ Tucker.
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.
Phoenix Suns swingman P.J. Tucker is drawing trade interest from the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
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.
“I’ve got to keep playing for my team,” Tucker told Basketball Insiders. “I’m a Phoenix Sun right now. This is the last year of my contract, but as of now, I’m a Phoenix Sun. So I’m going to keep playing until somebody tells me otherwise. In this league, it’s part of the business, especially coming up in a contract year. So for me, it’s just staying focused and being ready to play every night.”
“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.
The Raptors are chasing a power forward this week. Sources say Brooklyn's Thaddeus Young, New Orleans' Ryan Anderson, Denver's Kenneth Faried and the Phoenix duo of Markieff Morris and P.J. Tucker have all been pursued this month by the East's No. 2 team.
The Wizards are looking for help at the power forward spot and a stretch-four type player is very appealing. Keep an eye on New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson, Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker and Utah Jazz forward Trevor Booker – all players the Wizards have at least inquired about.
Last week ESPN reported the Raptors were looking into Suns forwards P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris and while the source is credible, it should be noted that Toronto's front office doesn't leak that sort of information - they haven't since Ujiri took over. If it's not coming from the Raptors, it's likely coming from the Suns, or an agent, both of whom could be using the report for leverage.
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Toronto is among the teams expressing trade interest in Suns swingman P.J. Tucker in advance of the Feb. 18 trade deadline
February 28, 2021 | 7:46 pm EST Update
Nevertheless, Oladipo, 28, has the chance to become one of the best two-way players available at the trade deadline or free agency. Miami and New York are among teams who’ve had an interest in Oladipo, and both have the salary-cap space to sign him outright in the summer.
Oladipo’s in the final year of a four-year, $85 million contract, which leaves the Rockets with decisions to make prior to the March 25 trade deadline — including whether they’ll make him available in trade talks. The transitional state of the Rockets’ roster makes it likely they’ll listen to overtures as they continue to get to know Oladipo — and he gets to know them — since the mid-January trade that brought him from Indiana as part of the James Harden blockbuster.
For the Rockets, amid a post-Harden and Westbrook era, there are a number of options with Oladipo, including weighing his value in the trade deadline marketplace, committing to aggressively pursuing a long-term deal in the summer, working with Oladipo on getting value back in sign-and-trade talks in the offseason or letting him walk to use the cap space on other players in free agency.