NBA Rumor: PJ Tucker Free Agency

43 rumors in this storyline

PJ Tucker on not re-signing with Bucks: 'I was pretty surprised'

Tucker declined to discuss the offer he received from the Bucks in free agency. “I was pretty surprised,” Tucker said of not ending up back with the Bucks. “You win a championship and you’re part of winning something special like that, you would expect that. A chance of it not happening? There’s a chance. It didn’t happen. Does it happen a lot? I don’t think so, not in that situation, not in those situations. You watch role guys in series in the past, usually those guys go back. So I’ll take my situation as just that, a particular situation. I move on from it and keep it going.”

More Rumors in this Storyline

But Thursday’s matchup against the Bucks feels somewhat personal for at least one player on the Heat’s roster, and he actually won an NBA championship with Milwaukee last season: Veteran forward P.J. Tucker. “I mean, come on, we’re competitors. I was part of that,” Tucker said this week of facing his former team on Thursday at FTX Arena (8 p.m., Bally Sports Sun). “To not be back? For sure. You know it’s like natural human behavior. Definitely, I want to win this game better than I want to win any other game. Yes, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t.”

They decided against paying a higher tax bill and now have one less contributor on the roster. Even if Tucker regressed as a 37-year-old, which doesn’t necessarily seem likely as evidenced by his strong postseason following a subpar regular season, his contract may have been a useful piece of salary flotsam to make a deal for a different contributor on a double-digit annual contract figure. Now, the Bucks do not have the man that coined and then embodied the Bucks’ “We Dogs” postseason mantra, the salary that could have been useful in future roster construction and the player that spent the postseason putting his body on the line helping defend the opponent’s best players. And Horst has to figure out how to use the taxpayer mid-level exception to find a difference-maker and help fill out the Bucks’ rotation as they attempt to repeat as NBA champions.

Bucks to offer two-year deal to PJ Tucker

It appears the Bucks have a strong shot at keeping Tucker. He reportedly wants a multi-year deal for at least $8 million. According to league sources, the Bucks will be offering him a two-year, $20 million contract. “I can’t imagine any team giving him more than the Bucks will,’’ an NBA executive said Sunday. “Most teams wouldn’t even give him that much. He’s a good defender and that’s it. No offense. And he’s near the end of the road. He’s what? Thirty six?

Soon, however, Tucker will have a choice to make. He’s at the end of a four-year, Tucker signed a 4 year, $31.9 million with the Rockets, or $8 million a year. Now an unrestricted free agent with a ring and much higher profile. He’s also the only real free agent linked to the Nets in the rumor mill. As Alex Schiffer writes Thursday… “I’ve heard P.J. Tucker’s name come up a lot. The Nets have been interested in him since before the Harden trade. But after the Bucks’ championship, does he want to pull a Ray Allen and leave one contender for another in the same conference? Tucker is tight with Harden and Durant, bodyguard issues aside, and played with Nets assistant Royal Ivey at Texas. He loved playing for Mike D’Antoni in Houston.”

The Bucks have, from a salary cap perspective, the best chance of keeping another key free agent, PJ Tucker. Giannis Antetokounmpo gave PJ a glowing review during the Brooklyn series. Giannis said, “He keeps making everything tough on KD (Kevin Durant). He’s vocal. He’s a leader. He pushes us to be great. He’s definitely a big piece of this organization and this team. He’s going to keep helping us. We definitely need him moving forward.” … To me, there’s no reason why, from a financial perspective, Tucker shouldn’t be back with the Bucks.

I think he’s best valued on a playoff-type team. Most of those teams are only going to have the mid-level exception to work with, including a few exceptions like the New York Knicks, for example. I think Milwaukee has the best chance to keep him… I think PJ’s going to have suitors from other teams around the league. I think declining that two-year, $17 million extension offer (From Houston), I think he’s going to end up doing better than that after his playoff run.

Milwaukee has PJ Tucker’s full Bird rights so they won’t have any issues re-signing him. Like DiVincenzo, Tucker could benefit from the Bucks’ lack of tradeable salaries. What’s also helping him is that the Bucks have no means of replacing his salary slot if he doesn’t return. He reportedly declined two-year, $17 million extension with Houston that was only $10 million guaranteed. Tucker earning around the same amount of money annually as he’s been earning recently is reasonable on a short-term deal.

Brooklyn has maintained an interest in Tucker dating back to the Nets’ James Harden trade talks. Miami also discussed adding Tucker in variations of the Heat’s negotiations for Victor Oladipo, sources said. Add the Lakers, Warriors, Nuggets and Jazz as teams that could vie for Tucker’s services too. Minnesota, led of course by former Rockets executive Gersson Rosas, has coveted Tucker dating back to the 2020 draft, sources said, and the Wolves have continued searching for front court improvements.

PJ Tucker hoping for extension with Rockets this offseason

11. Veteran forward PJ Tucker still hopes to come to an agreement on an extension with Houston, league sources told The Athletic. Tucker initially expressed these desires about his long-term future last summer. Both sides are said to be on the same page in terms of wanting Tucker to stick around past the 2020-21 season — the last year of his current deal — when he’ll be making $7.97 million.
More HoopsHype Rumors
December 7, 2021 | 2:59 am EST Update

Ben Simmons likes report of Damian Lillard wanting to play with him

Interestingly, after the rumors of Lillard wanting to play with Simmons spread like wildfire online, the Australian guard caught win of the development and showed his interest in it. While the 25-year-old didn’t directly address it, he did “like” a post on Bleacher Report Instagram discussing the news.
Goorjian hopes Simmons finds a new home to help him flourish again and stressed that the Aussie had full support from the Boomers camp moving forward. “I just hope right now he finds a team, finds a place where he’s comfortable and gets on with his career,” he said. “I said to him: ‘We’re here for you. You’ve had some situations at Philly with your teammates, with the coach, with the organisation. You come here; we’ll welcome you with open arms. I think you’re going to love the environment, it’s your call.’”
Storyline: Ben Simmons Trade?
The Nets still have championship aspirations, and the presence of Irving, who averaged 27 points, five rebounds and six assists last season, would certainly help in achieving that goal. They are still paying the seven-time All-Star for the road games he misses due to the team’s decision to not employ him as a part-time player for away contests. “From what I’ve seen, they’re still a good team without Kyrie, but they definitely need him,” former Nets guard Deron Williams recently told Bally Sports. “I hope everything gets figured out. But as far as my thoughts on Kyrie, he’s doing what’s best for him. I respect what he wants to do.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine