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PJ Tucker commends 2017 draft class members Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox and Donovan Mitchell


PJ Tucker has spent most of his summer training with the USA Men’s Basketball Team. The Houston Rockets forward recently spoke highly about the squad’s 2017 draft class members Jayson Tatum, De’Aaron Fox, and Donovan Mitchell.

“Honestly, I swear all these guys are better than I realized,” Tucker said Thursday, per the team. “It is crazy, playing against people a couple times a year is one thing but when you get here and you’re working every day, or you see how these guys work.

“All these young guys like De’Aaron Fox is amazing, he is way better than I thought he was, not saying I didn’t think he was good, but he is really, really good. I play Donovan (Mitchell) all the time with Utah so I know how good he is, but he’s been really great. Jayson Tatum is great. All these guys, I’m serious, top to bottom, all these guys are really good, and they are really going to be great in their individual careers.”

This is the first time that Tucker got to spend an extended amount of time with these guys. And he got to witness first-hand how good they actually are.

Donovan Mitchell led Team USA with 13 points in its latest tune-up match against Spain. Jayson Tatum has also been a steady contributor for the team, scoring 11 points in their 90-81 win over the Spaniards. Meanwhile, De’Aaron Fox, who initially started out on the Select Team, has risen through the ranks and will likely land a spot on the final roster for the upcoming FIBA World Cup.

Unfortunately, Tucker will no longer suit up for Team USA later this month, further depleting the already-watered down squad. The undersized defensive-minded forward withdrew from the team after suffering an ankle injury.