One big mistake by the Bucks in 2021 NBA Free Agency
One of the reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks won the championship is because of PJ Tucker. Shortly after winning it all, though, and they’ve made a mistake by letting him go in NBA free agency.
We know how P.J. is showing up to FTX day 1… pic.twitter.com/fxGfP9Jr08
On the first day of free agency, Tucker shocked NBA fans by deciding to sign a 15 million dollar deal with the Heat, just 13 days after winning the championship with the Bucks. It seemed as if Tucker was celebrating days before free agency in Milwaukee at the Bucks’ championship parade. But then it got ugly for both parties days after because both couldn’t agree on a deal.
PJ Tucker on Instagram pic.twitter.com/8MmgsdY2wJ
— Jake Reetz (@jajareetz) August 3, 2021
The Bucks shouldn’t have let Tucker go because he was a huge for them both offensively and defensively. The forward took on the challenge to guard Kevin Durant in the eastern conference semifinals, and while Durant is probably the hardest player to guard today, Tucker still put up a fight. What’s worse for the Bucks is that not only did they let a key piece go but they let him go to the Heat—their arch rival in the eastern conference. Talk about a gut punch of a move.
“P.J. Tucker is the perfect addition to this team,” said HEAT President Pat Riley on a report published at NBA.com. “He brings both shooting and most importantly, the ability to defend a lot of perimeter players. We love his versatility in order to put a defensive team on the court, where all five guys can defend, while also having enough shooting and scoring to win games.”
Unfortunately for the Bucks, the Heat got better as well after this year’s free agency. With the addition of Tucker, they can be one of if not the best defensive teams in the league. The 36-year-old will also remove the load out of Jimmy Butler or even Bam Adebayo on defense. A player like Tucker is the perfect glue guy in any team filled with all-stars.
The one time champion isn’t the most decorative scorer or even rebounder but he does a lot of dirty work that does not always appear on the stat sheet. That’s what every championship caliber team needs.
How the Bucks replaced Tucker
The Bucks acquired Rodney Hood days after Tucker’s bold move, perhaps as the latter’s replacement. Hood is a 36.7 percent career three point shooter and is someone the Bucks can utilize as a threat on offense. He’s a former first-round pick out of Duke who only averaged 4.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game last season, but hopefully that changes as he teams up with Giannis Antetokounmpo and company.
However, the addition of Hood does not quite replace what Tucker did for this Bucks team last season. Yes, Hood can space the floor but Tucker was a different beast on defense—something Hood has yet to prove. Tucker is a proven winner and seems to bring that “dawg” mentality with him wherever he goes. PJ’s dawg mentality is what made it special over the past couple of years.
It’s sad to see the Bucks and Tucker part ways especially after the short time they spent together. Milwaukee will definitely miss their glue guy this upcoming season.