NBA Rumor: PJ Tucker Trade?

104 rumors in this storyline

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.

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Some within Heat preferred Rudy Gay to Trevor Ariza, but Spurs were asking for too much

According to a source in touch with the Heat, one reason the Heat jumped on the Trevor Ariza trade — instead of waiting until closer to the deadline to make a move — was because of an inability to agree on trade compensation for San Antonio’s Rudy Gay or Houston’s P.J. Tucker. The Spurs asked for more than what the Heat was willing to give for Gay, who was the preferred choice of some internally, the source said.

“To not have him for the group is hard, as well,” Silas said. “To not have him as someone who tried as hard as he does and is as vocal as he is, all of those things that makes him good, it’s not ideal to (not) have him. But we’re trying to establish something here. We want people who really want to be here and really want to contribute to what we have going on. “I’m not saying he wasn’t contributing because he was. But there is no secret at all there was contract stuff and business stuff. It kind of came to a head. That business part is something I’m not at all involved with. The basketball part and the spirit part of the group is something I’m very in tune to and very concerned with. I don’t think it was a great situation for anybody.”

PJ Tucker frustrated about lack of trade

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, increasingly frustrated that he has yet to be traded to a contender, was a healthy scratch on Thursday night and uncertainty remains about when he’ll return to the lineup, sources told ESPN. The Rockets have had several concurrent trade discussions with teams in recent weeks involving Tucker — talks that are expected to result in a deal for Tucker before the March 25 trade deadline, sources said.

In addition to Houston’s most-whispered names, Victor Oladipo and PJ Tucker, team executives polled by B/R are also curious whether the Rockets will look to move supporting players deeper in their rotation. They’re specifically eyeing Houston’s cadre of athletic, two-way wings like Danuel House Jr., Ben McLemore, Sterling Brown and Jae’Sean Tate. “I keep hearing they’re going to fire-sale,” said a rival scout. “Houston’s gonna burn the house down,” said another assistant general manager.

Bucks, Nets, Heat, Sixers, Nuggets, Lakers, Timberwolves have all asked about PJ Tucker trade

The landscape for dealing P.J. Tucker appears much greener. The Bucks, Nets, Heat, Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets have all expressed interest, sources said. Tucker would relish joining Philadelphia and former Rockets general manager Daryl Morey, and the Sixers are one of the few contenders with real picks at their disposal. Around the draft, Houston’s new front office could have gotten a late 2020 first-round pick for Tucker from Minnesota, league sources said. But Rockets ownership rebuffed moving Tucker at that time, sources said, as they still believed they could keep Harden and build another playoff contender around him.

For weeks, the Rockets were messaging that they would accept either a first-rounder or three second-round picks, sources told B/R. But Tucker’s output has dropped significantly this season. He’s shooting only 31.4 percent from three, his worst mark since 2012-13, and he’s averaging only 4.6 rebounds one year after hauling in a career-high 6.6 per game. “If they had a first for him now, he’d already be gone,” one general manager told B/R. “They’re off their asking price,” added the Western Conference official.

There is significant interest in P.J. Tucker, who would not seem to fit in long-term plans. Because of the trades of James Harden and Robert Covington, the Rockets have restocked their supply of draft picks and won’t have to look to make any deal available to get picks back as they might have — and probably would have — when they had control of so few. Even more so with Victor Oladipo, the Rockets would not make a move unless it would be a trade that they would have made regardless of their situation in the standings or how they got there.

Tucker also has a reasonable contract, being paid $7.96 million this season. Tucker, who has started 32 games this season, is averaging 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 30 minutes. While he is shooting 31 percent from 3-point range, his career 3-point percentage is 36. Veteran agent Andre Buck, who represents Tucker, said he didn’t know how interested the Bucks were in Tucker but acknowledged he’s heard “rumors’’ Milwaukee and several other playoff-bound teams, including Miami and Philadelphia, may pursue his client. Said Buck: “Where there’s smoke, there might be fire.’’

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.

Nets, Jazz and Nuggets interested in PJ Tucker?

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.”

Bucks still interested in PJ Tucker

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.

Lakers 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. One thing I’m told is that Houston wants back not picks, but a player that they can plug back into their lineup.”

PJ Tucker: I want a chance to win

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.

Rockets asking for three second-round draft picks for PJ Tucker?

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.”

Rockets want three second-round picks for PJ Tucker?

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.

Wolves to pursue PJ Tucker again?

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.

Bucks eyeing Robert Covington, 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.

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”

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.

Celtics interested in PJ Tucker?

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.

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.”

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.”
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January 17, 2022 | 9:05 pm EST Update