Houston Rockets: Why P.J. Tucker deserves a contract extension

PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
PJ Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker is looking to sign a contract extension with the team to secure his future, and he definitely deserves it.

P.J. Tucker’s experience with Team USA was very short-lived, as an ankle injury will keep him out of action until the Houston Rockets start their preseason.

Since he isn’t preoccupied with Team USA, Tucker is focused on securing his NBA future. Back in 2017, Tucker signed a four-year, $32 million deal with the Rockets.

Tucker is entering into the third season of that deal and he’s looking to extend his contract with Houston, as he told Kelly Iko of The Athletic (subscription required).

“It’s now. It’s time for my extension right now, so we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I’m optimistic, we’ll see.”

Tucker, who spent time playing in the D-League (now called the G-League), and in foreign countries such as Israel, Ukraine, Italy and Germany, knows that things in professional sports can change very quickly and too often players are caught blindsided. He wants a guaranteed contract extension to ensure that his future is secure, and no one can blame him for that. Tucker is only guaranteed $2.5 million in the 2020-21 season, the final year of his contract, if he is waived on or before July 1, 2020.

Since he signed with Houston back in 2017, Tucker has been a glue guy, especially on the defensive end. He’s one of the few players in the league that always plays at 100 percent no matter the time of year or the level of the opponent.

Tucker will defend the opposing team’s best player, whether that be a guard or a forward, and can even slide down to the center position when Mike D’Antoni decides to play his small-ball lineup. Not to mention, Tucker is an excellent 3-point shooter, especially from the corners, making him an excellent floor spacer at the power forward position.

Tuck is 34 years old and he’ll turn 35 next May, so the Rockets will have to be careful about the size and length of a contract extension. Tucker finished 17th in the league last year in minutes at 34.2 per game, which was the most for any player his age. It’s unlikely that Tucker will be able to continue to play that many minutes as his career advances without experiencing negative consequences, like injuries or late-game fatigue. However, Tucker looked fresh in last year’s playoffs, as he increased his scoring, rebounds, steals and made a staggering 45.6 percent of his 3s in the postseason.

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Despite Tucker’s age, he definitely deserves an extension from the Rockets. He means so much to this team both on the floor and in the locker room, and I think I speak for most Rockets fans when I say that P.J. Tucker deserves to retire as a Rocket.