It seems that the problems in the Houston Rockets locker room doesn’t just end with Russell Westbrook’s uneasiness with the team’s culture. Another starter in PJ Tucker has been one of the names bring brought up in the recent turmoil in H-Town.
Tucker, who’s had contract issues for quite some time now, has been reportedly pissed off with how the front office has been handling things, per Kelly Iko, Sam Amick, and Shams Charania in The Athletic.
Prior to the 2019-20 season, the 35-year-old forward was adamant that he wanted a new contract and it took the Rockets quite some time before finally putting a deal together. Finally, when then-GM Daryl Morey and the front office finally cut Tucker a check, it was nothing close to what the starter deserved and wanted. Instead of inking him a long-term extension, the Rockets guaranteed Tucker a $7.9 million salary just for the 2020-21 season, which will deem him as an unrestricted free agent come the 2021 offseason. The timing and the actual deal, according to The Athletic, was quite insulting to the seasoned vet.
Even amid an unwanted contract situation, Tucker still managed to perform and be one of the key members of the Rockets’ lineup last season. He was an undeniable glue for the squad that had Westbrook and James Harden running around and throwing shots up. In the playoffs, he played a huge role once again, as former head coach Mike D’Antoni went with an ultra-small-ball unit, which had the 6’5″ Tucker at the five spot.
The North Carolina native has expressed his intent to finish his career in Houston, but even after his proven loyalty and undeniable impact on the floor, the Rockets aren’t striking him a favorable deal. It’ll be interesting to see where Tucker ends up after a rather busy offseason for the Rockets.