RUMOR: Lakers interested in trading for Rockets’ PJ Tucker
Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Harrison Faigen of Lakers of Lakers SBN), the reigning NBA champions are closely monitoring the situation with Rockets forward PJ Tucker.
Woj also just said that the Lakers are interested in PJ Tucker, but that so far the Rockets are asking for a player they can put in their lineup, not just picks.
— NBA Insider Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) February 21, 2021
While the Lakers would prefer to acquire the 35-year-old stretch forward through a buy-out, it appears that the Rockets want a player in return for his services. Tucker has $7 million remaining on his expiring contract, making it tricky for the Lakers to put up a trade package for him.
Rumors of discord between Tucker and the Rockets franchise arose even before the 2020-21 campaign. The 6-foot-5 bruiser was reportedly unhappy with his current contract situation in H-Town. Most pundits thought he’ll be long gone after that blockbuster 4-team trade for James Harden pushed through. But somehow, Tucker stayed in Houston up until now.
There is certainly no shortage of suitors for the defensive specialist, as several contenders are looking to beef up their rosters before the trade deadline next month. The Lakers are looking for able bodies at the moment with superstar Anthony Davis sidelined for four weeks due to an Achilles strain. The defending champions do need another back up big man, and it remains unclear how an undersized frontcourt player like Tucker fits into the equation. Tucker has missed the Rockets’ last three games due to a left thigh contusion.
His numbers have been down across the board this season, notching 4.7 points on 32.9 percent shooting from downtown, along with 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 24 games.