The Houston Rockets are reportedly exploring trades for numerous players on their roster, and one of those players is forward PJ Tucker.
Tucker has spent the last two seasons with the Rockets and has never missed a game, and this season, he averaged 7.3 point and 5.8 rebounds over 34.2 minutes per game while shooting 39.6 percent from the floor, 37.7 percent from three-point range and 69.5 percent from the free-throw line.
Obviously, Tucker is hardly a star and is more of a complementary player than anything else, but due to his toughness, ability to shoot the three-ball and his defensive versatility, he would be a welcome addition to pretty much any NBA team.
As a matter of fact, Tucker was a big reason why the Rockets pushed the Golden State Warriors to seven games during the 2018 postseason.
So, here are three ideal trade destinations for PJ Tucker:
3. Brooklyn Nets
One thing the Nets are really missing (other than elite talent) is toughness, and that was blatantly obvious in this postseason when Jared Dudley of all people had to play the role of enforcer.
Tucker could slide in next to Jarrett Allen up front and not only provide Brooklyn with a much-needed tough guy, but also some defensive versatility and experience at the 4, something the Nets desperately need, as Rodions Kurucs and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson simply did not get the job done in that regard this year.
With Tucker set to make $8.3 million next season, he wouldn’t be a hard salary to match, and it’s hard to imagine the 34-year-old costing all that much in return.
Tucker carries the added benefit of being a solid three-point shooter, another area where Brooklyn could use some help.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
With the Bucks having a ton of free agents and not much cap room to re-sign them, Milwaukee may have to explore the trade market in order to bolster its roster.
And with the probability of losing both Brook Lopez and Nikola Mirotic to free agency, the Bucks’ frontcourt will need some assistance.
Of course, the Bucks would also need a center, as they almost certainly don’t want Giannis Antetokounmpo playing significant minutes at the 5, but they are going to need to add more than just one player in order to offset their probable free-agent losses.
Enter PJ Tucker, whose gritty mindset would fit perfectly alongside of Antetokounmpo and would provide Giannis with a decent three-point shooter to kick the ball out to off of dribble penetration.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have no cap room to sign any free agents, so if they want to make anything this summer, it’s going to have to be via trade.
Oklahoma City is sorely lacking depth and perimeter shooting, and Tucker would instantly provide both for the Thunder. He would have to be okay with coming off the bench, as Jerami Grant would likely remain the starting 4, but he has done it plenty of times before, so it’s hard to imagine him having too big of a gripe about doing it again.
This is a Thunder team that has looked lost the last two postseasons, so they can certainly use a wily veteran like Tucker to bring the guys together and keep everyone calm in critical moments.
Plus, Tucker’s defensive chops would take a lot of pressure off of Paul George, as he could allow George to rest at times on that end of the floor.