Per a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski, the Houston Rockets are offering Capela, Gordon and Tucker in an effort to shed salary to make an acquisition of Jimmy Butler a possibility. As a season ticket holder and die-hard Rockets fan, is there a real possibility that the team will actually trade P.J. Tucker? I do not believe so.
Breaking News: The Houston Rockets are trying to add another superstar to their roster. I hope you can hear the sarcasm through this very sentence. It should come as a shock to absolutely nobody that the Rockets are trying to obtain another superstar to pair alongside James Harden and Chris Paul.
Reporting w/ @ZachLowe: Houston’s offering Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker individually to teams w/ space to absorb salary. Rockets trying for best available first-rounder for any of those three, hoping to redirect pick to Philly in pursuit of Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 26, 2019
It appears that the Rockets have their sights set on Small Forward Jimmy Butler, and are willing to do whatever it takes to acquire him. There has been much conjecture about what it will take to make this happen. In my eyes, there are two untouchables on this roster: James Harden and P.J. Tucker.
Reason No. 1
The first reason why P.J. Tucker should be an untouchable piece of the roster: He is your best on-ball defender. If you take a glimpse at the roster and take P.J. Tucker out of the equation, who is the best on-ball defender that you have under contract? I believe that answer would be Eric Gordon or Gary Clark.
The idea of going into a season where this is the case absolutely terrifies me. If you review the tape on a night in and night out basis, P.J. Tucker is consistently the one guy who is an absolute dog on the defensive end of the floor and has the ability to cover any position on the floor.
Reason No. 2
The second reason why P.J. Tucker should be an untouchable piece of the roster: His close relationship with James Harden and Chris Paul is well documented, and should not be messed with. If you are an avid Rockets fan, can you recall who James Harden enters the building with on nearly a nightly basis for a game? The answer to that would be P.J. Tucker.
Per a story from ABC 13 news, Chris Paul and P.J. Tucker grew up playing AAU basketball together. Here is a quote from Chris Paul about their relationship, “’For us and our families that know each other, for us to finally get an opportunity to play together on the same team, it’s cool and special to get a chance to do it with a guy I’ve been with since we were little,’ Paul said.” When it comes to Daryl Morey, certainly anything is possible (in regards to trading a player), but I cannot see him doing it with a guy this close to the 2 most important players on your roster.
Reason No. 3
The third and final reason why P.J. Tucker should be an untouchable piece of this roster: He is the heart and soul of this roster, and that is not something to take lightly. Per ESPN stats, he appeared in ALL 82 regular season games, averages 34.2 minutes per game, should 37.7 % from the 3 point line, averaged 7.3 points per game, along with 5.8 rebounds per game, and 1.6 steals per game. Do these numbers jump off the page at you and scream NBA Superstar? No, but, they do show a guy that is a true “lunch pail“ guy, who is tough and will do all of the dirty work to help his team a win on a night in and night out basis.
With all of the speculation that is out in the media about what the Rockets are thinking about doing, it is hard to decipher what is true and what is not. I believe there are teams in the league that would take P.J. Tucker in a New York minute, but I remain with the notion that he is not going anywhere.
Buckle up Rockets fans, because we are just getting started with the 2019 Free Agency period.
GO ROCKETS !!