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.”
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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.
Bobby Portis’s short but productive career as a Milwaukee Buck is winding down. P.J. Tucker, whose career with the Bucks has been even shorter than Portis’ and certainly less productive, also appears to be approaching the finish line in Milwaukee. Messrs. Portis and Tucker will become free agents after this season and neither one, in the estimation of several NBA officials, figures to be donning a Bucks uni for the 2021-2022 season.
If Tucker remains with Houston through the season, he is open to re-signing with the Rockets in the 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.
Mark Berman: PJ Tucker has 1 year left on his contract & reiterates he’d like an extension: “I love Houston. I’ve said it many times. I want to retire as a Houston Rocket..The fans, the city have embraced me since day one. So fingers crossed, I hope we can strike a deal and get it done.”
Shams Charania: The Houston Rockets are planning to fully guarantee PJ Tucker’s fourth season of contract in 2020-21, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium.
Shams Charania: Final year of Tucker’s four-year, $32M deal will now be guaranteed. Tucker has emerged as Houston’s starting center recently.
Eric Pincus: PJ Tucker has $2.6 mil guaranteed in his 4th year at $8.0 mil – 1st season $7.6 mil @BBallInsiders Toronto Raptors
Houston Rockets: Welcome to H-Town P.J. Tucker!
Shams Charania: Free agent P.J. Tucker has reached agreement on a deal with the Houston Rockets, league sources tell The Vertical.
Shams Charania: Tucker has agreed to a four-year, $32M deal with the Rockets, league sources tell The Vertical.
Jonathan Feigen: Rockets will sign Tucker using their mid-level exception, source said. Reason it was important to do the trade for Paul, to have full MLE.
Chris Haynes: Sacramento’s meeting with PJ Tucker will take place in Philadelphia on Sunday, league sources tell ESPN.
Michael Pina: Source: Sacramento is showing interest in PJ Tucker
Chris Haynes: Sacramento Kings have scheduled a face-to-face meeting with PJ Tucker over the weekend, league sources tell ESPN.
Chris Haynes: Toronto brass meeting with free-agent swingman PJ Tucker in Philadelphia at some point after midnight, league sources tell ESPN.
Michael Scotto: Toronto Raptors remain interested in re-signing P.J. Tucker and will meet with him on Saturday, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
Point guard aside, the Knicks are interested in tough-minded veterans such as P.J. Tucker, according to sources, and are looking, in particular, for players who can compete on both ends of the floor.
The club has preliminary interest in two-way veteran and free agent P.J. Tucker, per league sources. Jeff Hornacek coached Tucker in Phoenix and praised Tucker last season as a strong locker-room leader and intense defender.
Josh Lewenberg: Ujiri on the trade deadline deals for Ibaka/Tucker-“One of the reasons we did it was for their rights… We need a training camp (together)”
“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.”
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July 27, 2021 | 5:37 am EDT Update
So, should the Celtics be considered legitimate suitors for Beal? NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller joined Chris Forsberg on a brand new episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast to discuss. “I would say this, the Tatum thing is real,” Miller said. “Bradley would have never considered Boston if Tatum wasn’t there. Let’s just be honest, he would have never considered it. But that’s a thing, and before he had to leave [the Olympics] due to COVID, he had some really good synergy with Jayson, and those daily conversations didn’t hurt the Celtics’ chances. …
The Jump on ESPN: “Bradley Beal told me he loves Washington, wants to have a career in Washington and wants his jersey retired there. He wants to be a Wes Unseld type figure. Giannis sticking with Milwaukee could give Beal more motivation to stay in Washington” — @MarcJSpears
The Wizards, multiple sources have said, are aligning toward a full rebuild should Beal ask out. It’s not a coincidence that Bleacher Report reported that there have been preliminary talks between the Lakers and Wizards about a deal for Russell Westbrook, a deal that league sources said was increasingly likely as of Sunday night.
Multiple sources confirmed Sunday that the Toronto Raptors have emerged as a team with “significant” interest in Simmons. One source close to talks said discussions have not been substantial as of yet. Multiple sources including those close to talks said a proposed framework including Raptors guards Kyle Lowry, Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, and the 4th overall pick in Thursday’s draft for Simmons was rejected by Toronto.
One other significant shift on the Simmons front: There was talk that 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey would be willing to start the season with Simmons to rehab his value before a midseason deal. That idea now seems untenable to executives based on discussions with Philadelphia.
PhillyVoice reached out to multiple team sources on Monday morning in wake of the report, and received pretty firm denials at every stop. “We talked to Ben on his birthday a couple of days ago, we’ve been in touch with him throughout the summer,” one source said. “We’re going to send some training personnel out to see him this summer, too…we have good dialogue with Ben, his team, and his family.”
The Lakers’ bitter cross-town rivals, the LA Clippers, are reportedly also in the running in the DeRozan bidding war. The same goes for the New York Knicks, the Chicago Bulls, and his current team, the Spurs, making it a five-horse race. This is according to NBA insider Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated: