It’s no secret that the Houston Rockets and forward P.J. Tucker have been headed for a divorce, as Tucker has voiced his frustration to just about anyone who has asked him about his contract situation. Tucker requested a contract extension prior to the 2019-20 season and had yet to receive one at the start of this season.
Tucker made cryptic posts on Instagram about loyalty and missed the start of Rockets training camp, and didn’t hold back when asked about his long-term future with the Rockets.
“I want to be where whoever wants me. No matter what, that’s the kind of player I am.
I give them my all, I leave my heart on the floor every single night, and I’ve done so my whole career, so I want to be where I’m wanted.”
The goal is to be in a place where you’re wanted, where you want to be. I think that’s what every player wants. It’s certain ways to show that, and it’s not just contract extensions.”
When asked if he felt wanted by the Rockets, he stated, “You should ask them.” The Rockets made Tucker an offer for a new contract but he decided against signing it, leading many to believe he wasn’t pleased with the terms.
ESPN’s Wojnarowski explains market for Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker
With Tucker on an expiring deal and the Rockets in a rebuilding stage, trade speculation has mounted. On Sunday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski joined NBA Countdown and mentioned the list of teams that have called about Tucker.
“P.J. Tucker, a lot of contenders have been calling Houston. The Brooklyn [Nets], Milwaukee [Bucks], Lakers, Miami [Heat], about Tucker who is in the last year of his deal.”
Wojnarowski added that there will likely be more buyers than sellers at the deadline, making players like Tucker even more valuable. The Rockets’ asking price for Tucker was initially reported to be three second-round draft picks, but it’s recently been stated that Houston Rockets general manager Rafael Stone is instead seeking players over draft picks.
It was initially reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the first teams to express interest in Tucker, which made sense, as Minnesota’s President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas spent several years alongside Tucker in Houston.
Although Tucker has regressed this season, his value on the court is unquestioned, as he welcomes the challenge of defending the best player on a nightly basis and has led the league in corner threes for the last several seasons. With the trade deadline on March 25th, there’s still time for other teams to join the fray for Tucker.
Sooner or later we’ll find out his next destination.