2. Tucker’s age presents a major concern
One of the obvious areas of concern regarding Tucker is his age, as he’ll turn 36-years-old before the 2021 postseason concludes. Although 36 may not seem like an ancient number, the mileage and tread on Tucker is rather extensive.
From 2017-2020 Tucker didn’t miss a single game, playing in 236 consecutive games, not to mention an additional 40 games in the postseason. Although Tucker has an uncanny pain threshold, he’s suffered an abundance of injuries in recent years.
- Hamstring injury
- Knee injury
- Back injury
- Ankle injury
- Shoulder stinger
- Hand injury
- Thigh injury
Tucker’s thigh injury occurred this season, which was substantial enough to force him to miss his first game since joining the Rockets in 2017.
But it should come as no surprise that his body is breaking down, as he played a total of 5,269 minutes from 2018-2020, which ranks fourth behind just James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Damian Lillard. Tucker also led the Rockets in minutes during the 2019 playoffs, which further illustrates the physical toll he’s taken in recent years.
For this reason, it should come as no surprise that Tucker has had arguably his worst season of his career, as he’s rather long in the tooth and his body has naturally broken down over the years. With that being said, the Rockets were wise to not to pay him $12 million per year, when he may miss more time over the next two seasons due to injuries, or have his level of play affected immensely, as it has this year, due to said physical limitations.
Next: No. 1