PJ Tucker Rockets

P.J. Tucker: Potential trade destinations

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Following news of James Harden being traded to the Brooklyn Nets, there were reports of teams showing trade interest in P.J. Tucker.

Tucker is on an expiring contract. Trade rumors for the veteran forward are inevitable as the Rockets reshape their roster for the post-Harden era. Tucker’s contract is easy to trade at a shade under $8 million. An elite corner three-point shooter and above-average defender who can switch, Tucker is going to have a strong trade market.

Still starting for the Rockets, Houston will be looking for picks in any potential Tucker trade. A protected first or multiple future seconds should be enough for a rental of this ilk. Times are changing in Houston – Victor Oladipo and John Wall are the new backcourt – and Tucker’s limited, albeit useful, skillset is no longer as key as it was in the Mike D’Antoni and Harden era.

The Rockets are going through a retool. With Oladipo’s contract expiring, though, they are going to take some time to see how competitive this group can be. It’s unlikely a Tucker trade happens immediately, but he’s a piece which could well be moved at the trade deadline.

Front offices will be keeping a keen eye on Tucker’s situation. There are plenty of good landing spots around the league.


Potential Tucker trades

Still possessing the disabled player exception from Klay Thompson‘s season-ending injury, the Golden State Warriors are an obvious fit for Tucker. The Warriors have a $9.3 million DPE, which Tucker easily slots in to. This isn’t a trade likely to happen immediately, but one that could come to fruition if the Rockets fall off the playoff pace.

Golden State lost Marquese Chriss to injury. They are a bit thin in the frontcourt. If a couple of future seconds is enough to acquire Tucker, it’s a no brainer for Bob Myers and co.

The Sixers taking Tucker in a potential Harden trade was speculated about. Although they didn’t acquire Harden, the Sixers could go back in for Tucker. Mike Scott‘s salary is enough to make a deal work, and Philly has all their future picks. Tucker can backup Tobias Harris and play third-string center behind Dwight Howard and Joel Embiid.

It’s worth keeping an eye on the Bucks, too. Just like Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo needs shooters. Tucker would be a useful smallball five in non-Brook Lopez minutes and give Mike Budenholzer flexibility in the playoffs. They could even go big with Antetokounmpo, Lopez, Tucker, Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday. Milwaukee can get a deal done by sending D.J. Wilson and Bobby Portis the other way.

Adding Tucker’s defense would be a nice boost for the Dallas Mavericks, too. The salary works even if they only send Boban Marjanovic the other way. Tucker would improve the frontcourt depth and bring yet more shooting alongside Maxi Kleber and Kristaps Porzingis.


Tucker will be a man in demand if the Rockets put him on the trade block. He’s a great complementary piece for so many contenders – he can help at both ends of the floor and brings invaluable postseason experience.

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