Potential trade candidate No. 6: P.J. Tucker
P.J. Tucker is another name that’s been gaining some buzz in the rumor mill. Ever since he and the Rockets failed to agree on a contract extension, it’s been widely speculated that Tucker will be the next person shipped out of Houston.
He won’t stuff the stat sheet, but he’s someone that everyone wants to play with and is ready to “go to war” with. In a recent media availability session, coach Stephen Silas raved about Tucker and his value to the team.
He is a leader on this team that everybody listens to. On the offensive end, he’s one of our best screeners. He has a knack for creating action for others and making it to where others can play really well while he’s on the floor. He spaces well to the corners and makes it hard on his man…on the defensive end, he’s the guy who’s doing all the talking. He’s the guy who makes sure everyone is organized. He’s the main communicator on the floor. He can switch on smaller guys, he can defend bigger guys in the post. You’re not going to see any of that in the stats, but he’s such an important piece to what we do.
He can be your small-ball five or be your “stretch-four,” but at 35 years old, he’s too slow to defend against most guards. Regardless of where he lines up at, you know he’s going to compete at a high level, hustle on every play, and make his matchup work his tail off for every basket he gets.
Tucker has a reputation for being a tough, hard-nosed player and playing center despite standing at just 6’5” tall. He’s also a respected veteran leader and as durable as a professional athlete can be. Tucker has appeared in every regular season and playoff game the Rockets have played since signing with Houston as a free agent in 2017.
Regardless of how much value he brings to the team and how much Tucker means to the organization since the Rockets aren’t going to be competing for a title and the two sides can’t come to terms on an extension, it may be best for everyone if the Rockets trade Tucker before the trade deadline.