Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker trade destination #1: New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans’ high hopes for this season have been dashed by the cold hard reality that they’re probably a year or two away. However, the playoffs are still manageable and the Pelicans, if they chose to make a push, should look to P.J. Tucker to give them a boost.
Tucker makes the most sense for a contender but the Pelicans want their young core to get playoff experience as they build for a bright future. What makes Tucker an exciting player for the Pelicans is how he could unlock certain lineups for them.
Zion Williamson is at his best as a center on offense and as a power-forward on defense, which means he needs a partner that is the reverse of that. Tucker has played heavy minutes at the center position for the Rockets in the past and could unlock Zion in a way never before seen.
On defense, he would battle centers in the paint, and on offense, he would provide spacing for Zion drives, cuts, post-ups, and dunks. This lineup wouldn’t be the Pelicans’ starting rotation but it could become their defacto death lineup.
The Pelicans are also only hitting 33.3-percent of their corner threes this season, an area where Tucker excels. Adding Tucker to their rotation would give their offense a boost while also providing a road map to see how dangerous Zion can truly be.
To get the deal through the Pelicans would have to shed salary but they have so many picks coming their way from the Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday trades that they can easily provide the Rockets with the best offer. The Pelicans might want to be bad this season to get a better draft pick, but if they really want to know what their ceiling is with Zion Williamson they should get P.J. Tucker to unlock their death lineup.