3. Respect around the league
In a recent interview conducted at NBA All Star Media Day with ex-Rockets point guard Chris Paul, CP3 went to extreme measures to not only praise Tucker, but he also went out of his way to point out that Tucker deserves a contract extension. CP3 had the below to say, courtesy of Michael Shapiro of Sports Illustrated:
“I think the person that I probably learned the most from was P.J. Tucker, who was like my brother, man,” Paul said. “He’s so selfless, gives himself up night in and night out. [Tucker] is like the unsung hero of the NBA, you know what I mean? He’s not going to be on the stat sheet with all this different type stuff…Tucker needs a [contract] extension, that’s all the man want. The man play every night and can’t get an extension.”
Granted, it’s well known that CP3 and Tucker are close, which CP3 even mentioned, but he also labelled Tucker the unsung hero of the NBA, which is high praise. It also shows the hard work Tucker has put in to get to this point, as he was a second round pick in the 2006 NBA Draft and had to fight to get to this point in the league.
In fact, Tucker is one of only seven players in his draft class who are still in the league today, including former Houston Rockets guard Kyle Lowry. It is important to note that the Rockets did fully guarantee the $8 million on Tucker’s contract for next season, which was taken care of earlier this month. So, a contract extension is not necessarily needed in order for him to be a viable player for the team beyond this season.
Following the news of Tucker’s final season being guaranteed, Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley spoke out about why Tucker deserves an extension. Dudley labelled Tucker as the second-most valuable player on the Rockets, and doubled down when faced with criticism for his assessment.
It’s not disrespect, Go look at Houston box score.. go look at the plus minus.. Pj always top 2.. He guards the best players, rebounds, best defensive communicator on the floor, knock down corner shooter and knows what he can and can’t do. No PJ no chance https://t.co/JLpiyj8pQU
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) February 12, 2020
Obviously Tucker is one of the more respected players in the league, and he’s certainly one of the most important players on the team. This brings us to the next point.
Next: No. 2