It’s well-known that P.J. Tucker has already played his last game for the Houston Rockets, as the two sides have decided that the best move is to keep the veteran forward away from the team as the front office seeks a move that’s best for both sides. For this reason, Tucker has missed each of the Rockets’ last two games, despite them being short-handed, due to a myriad of injuries.
Tucker’s role as a player that has the will to take on the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat while also being able to make the corner 3-point shot is invaluable, and a litany of teams have expressed interest in him, for that very reason. Tucker’s market has been vast, as we’ve heard that the many of the top teams in the league have interest in the veteran forward, including the top teams in each conference, such as the Philadelphia 76ers and the Utah Jazz.
But although the interest in Tucker is clear, the Rockets have yet to get back what they are seeking for the Sneaker King, which has led to frustration on Tucker’s part, as he remains on the Rockets’ roster.
Reporting w/ @espn_macmahon: As Rockets continue to discuss deals with several teams, P.J. Tucker is a healthy scratch vs. Kings and remains frustrated that he hasn’t been moved to a contender, sources said. It's unclear when Tucker will return to lineup before March 25 deadline.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2021
Top league insider reveals what the Houston Rockets will get for PJ Tucker
So what exactly can the Rockets get back for Tucker, a 35-year-old forward with a ton of tread on his tires? If you recall, Tucker finished within the top-seven in minutes played in each of the last two seasons and averaged more minutes in the playoffs in both years than he did during the regular season.
Shams Charania of The Athletic revealed what the Rockets will likely receive for the veteran defensive-minded forward on the Stupodity podcast.
“The one guy teams and contenders are looking at is P.J. Tucker. He’s a guy that, whether you’re looking at Milwaukee, Miami, Denver, the Lakers. I would expect him to be a guy that’s moved around the deadline for probably contracts and at least one or two assets.”
So what exactly does Charania mean by assets? The Rockets were initially seeking multiple second-round picks for Tucker and recently shifted their focus to players that can contribute for the team, both now and in the future.
The latter is likely what Charania is referring to, but with Tucker’s outgoing salary of $7.96 million, they may have to take on the salary of a veteran player on an expiring contract, as a player on a rookie deal won’t be enough to complete the trade. The Rockets feel like they have enough draft picks, which explains why they shifted their asking price, as they received draft capital in the Robert Covington and James Harden trades.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Houston Rockets get back for Tucker and from which team, as it’s been speculated that the Lakers will likely not make a trade for the forward, and the Brooklyn Nets no longer have the young prospects to send to Houston.
We won’t have to wait long to find out though, as the trade deadline will be here in less than two weeks.