Rockets: 3 trades to send P.J. Tucker to the Bucks

Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Bobby Portis #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Bobby Portis #9 of the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets trade #1

In this trade proposal, the Rockets would have to surrender draft capital, as they’d send the future first-round draft pick they acquired from the Detroit Pistons on the night of the NBA Draft to Milwaukee. At first glance, the pick seems undesirable, based on the protections attached to it, as outlined below:

  • Top-16 protected for four years
  • Top-18 protected for two years
  • Top-13 protected
  • Top-11 protected
  • Top 9-protected

Although the pick may never materialize into a first-round pick, it becomes two second-round picks if it doesn’t convey, which could be appealing to Milwaukee. But aside from the pick, the Rockets would get the best player in the deal in Bobby Portis, who is on his fourth team in just his sixth season.

The 26-year-old big man has played well in a reserve role for Milwaukee, averaging 11.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in roughly 22 minutes of action and providing massive productivity for the Bucks. What’s even more impressive is Portis’ shooting splits this season:

  • 54.5 percent from the field
  • 50 percent from long-range (2.2 attempts)
  • 60.9 percent effective field goal percentage
  • 61.4 percent true shooting

Portis has a player option for 2021-22, which he will certainly reject, as he has outplayed the $3.8 million that he’s set to earn next year, making it more logical for the Bucks to move him. This is especially the case, considering how Milwaukee would land future draft capital in return.

The Bucks would certainly like to hold on to Portis, considering the value he’s given at such a low cost, but adding Tucker would give the Bucks perhaps the most versatile defender in the NBA, not to mention extensive battle-tested experience and a team-first player who would gladly take on the challenge of defending the opposing team’s best player on a nightly basis.

In addition, the Bucks don’t have anyone on the roster to soak up minutes at the forward spot when Antetokoumpo sits, as they’ve played Portis at the center position more than 83 percent of the time this season.

Next. 3 players the Rockets can get for P.J. Tucker

Although the idea of getting rid of Portis for Tucker may seem painful for Bucks fans, adding Tucker would improve their defense and help them battle the top teams in the East, such as the Nets and the 76ers.