Houston Rockets: Where P.J. Tucker was before the season
Over Tucker’s first three seasons in Houston, he established a staggering level of consistency. He averaged between 6.1 and 7.3 points per game, 5.6 and 6.6 rebounds, and shot between 35.8-percent and 37.7-percent from 3-point range.
The one thing that did change over this period was Tucker’s position on the court. When he first arrived in Houston he spent the majority of his minutes at the small forward position. Slowly but surely he started getting more minutes at the power forward spot and eventually at center.
For a player listed at 6’5, Tucker’s ability to guard up the defensive spectrum made him an incredibly valuable player, as it allowed the team to construct lineups where Tucker would paper over someone’s weakness. Tucker made his bones on defense and the Rockets responded and gave him a hodgepodge of defensive assignments but on offense, he had one consistent role.
Over his first three seasons in Houston, Tucker took 70.7-percent of his 3-pointers from the corner and hit them at a 39.2-percent clip. As the league has embraced the 3-point shot more, 3-and-D players and stretch-forwards have become crucial to offensive success and Tucker was able to check both of those boxes.
Before the 2020-21 season started Tucker was a valuable veteran that was viewed as the key to unlocking any team’s best lineup. The Rockets were right to view his trade value as being worthy of a first-round pick, even on an expiring contract.
Next: How Tucker's season gone