Houston Rockets: P.J. Tucker – Team USA and contract extension
There’s been some news about the heart and soul of the Houston Rockets today regarding his future with the team as well as his participation in the upcoming FIBA World Cup.
The Houston Rockets are looking to potentially make some changes this offseason to try to get past the pesky Golden State Warriors. The team lacked in several areas this year, leading to a series loss in six games.
One constant great, though, was P.J. Tucker. He played his heart out every time he stepped onto the court and was a huge reason why the Rockets weren’t just swept by the Warriors. His rebounding and hustle along with his 3-point shooting were extremely valuable to the team. We have expressed multiple times how he shouldn’t be considered in trade talks this summer.
Tucker has had an active news day, as well. It’s looking like he’s making some moves this offseason and it should be an exciting one for him as well. Let’s look at the two main things that came out:
Team USA involvement
The other day, we heard that James Harden will be participating with Team USA. It’s looking like he’ll have (at least) one teammate with him there in P.J. Tucker.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN had this to say about the involvement of Tuck with the national team this summer:
Two more tough-minded, veteran players discussed as Team USA training camp possibilities for the FIBA World Cup roster, per sources: Houston's PJ Tucker and Denver's Paul Millsap.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 5, 2019
P.J. might not be the kind of guy you picture when you think of the star power that many Team USA squads have had over the years. However, the FIBA World Cup roster is usually less star-focused and a gritty guy like Tuck could be just what the team needs.
More likely than not, he won’t make the cut, but it will be nice to have another Rocket at the camp with Harden.
Tucker also has been in the news today because it looks like he wants to be with the Rockets for quite some time. Houston, especially Coach Mike D’Antoni, has expressed similar interest for P.J. in the past, and it would be nice to get a deal like this done.
Kelly Iko of The Athletic reported the desire from Tucker to get an extension this offseason in his latest article here. He states that both sides have talked about getting this done, potentially. They even want him here after he retires. Check out this snippet from the article:
“From what The Athletic understands, both sides have discussed his long-term future. Houston is enamored with Tucker, wants him to retire here and has even discussed a role for him within the team when his playing days are up. Despite the reports stating everyone save Harden is available, any Tucker trade would come at the strong disapproval of both Coach D’Antoni and James Harden.”
Get ready for Tuck to be here long-term. I really like this move, as he is an extremely valuable player to the Rockets and how they like to play. Let’s hope he gets to be on Team USA, too.