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.
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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.
The Houston Rockets could potentially move Oladipo again, as well as forward P.J. Tucker, who also is on an expiring contract.
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.
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.
Eric Smith: According to sources … Sullinger and Two second round picks for 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
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February 28, 2021 | 6:15 am EST Update
Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is on this quick two-game trip with his teammates so he can continue to rehab a high-grade strained right calf, but the five-time All-Star is “unlikely” to return until after the NBA All-Star break, league sources tell cleveland.com.
Given the Cavs only have two games remaining — Monday in Houston and Wednesday at home against the Indiana Pacers — before a needed nine-day break, sources said the team doesn’t see the upside in pushing it. They want to use the extra days to get his calf better, so he can be 100 percent for the Second Half.
The Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant will still serve as an NBA All-Star Game captain despite a hamstring injury that will keep him from playing. Durant and fellow All-Star Game captain LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers will each draft a roster out of the pool of selected All-Stars. The All-Star draft will air on TNT on March 4. It remained unclear whether Durant will travel to Atlanta for the game on March 7.
A Knicks official said Rivers was at the Garden, but in the back getting treatment for a sore ankle. Rivers was not listed on the pregame injury report submitted to the NBA. On the box score, Rivers was listed with a DNP-Coach’s Decision. Earlier this week, Rivers said of his situation: “I can’t control if I’m traded today, tomorrow or the next day. What I can control is how I am as a player.’’
His father, Mychal Thompson, believes Klay’s basketball lifespan could run until he’s 40 years old. “I said, if you really want to, you can play till you’re 40 years of age, but the key to that is you have to take care of your body, as you go into your 30s,” Mychal said, recounting to NBC Sports Bay Area a conversation he had with Klay.
That doesn’t mean he’s a finished product. There’s a reason the Raptors signed him with G League intentions and not for the NBA roster. The 10-day contract (about $82,000) affords them six games to see how he can fit and progress in their environment. It’s an audition by another name, and not the first time the Raptors have used a 10-day to get a 905 look at a prospect. “This gives us a chance to get Donta down in our system, teach him our ins and outs and the way we operate our offence, our defence, our schemes, and see how he looks running those,” general manager Chad Sanders said. “With Tampa just down the street, it’s a chance for us to get him out there and get some reps and get a chance to evaluate him for the big club.”
Callie Caplan: Luka, on ABC, asked about recent comparisons to Larry Bird’s game: “More, more games to go. A long time before you can compare me to Larry Bird. I just want to keep hooping, have fun playing basketball.”