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Houston Rockets: 3 players that can fill P.J. Tucker’s spot

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets reacts after being charged with a foul during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 20, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 20: P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets reacts after being charged with a foul during the first quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 20, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker #17 of the Houston Rockets (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets trade of P.J. Tucker to the Milwaukee Bucks leaves the recently injured Eric Gordon as the longest-tenured Rocket and the only holdover from their 65 win team in 2017-18. Tucker was a unique player for the Rockets who was able to guard players on the wing and in the post while also being a credible threat from 3-point range.

His dip in production this season led to a light trade return but his leadership and versatility will be sorely missed for a Rockets team that has endured a franchise-worst losing streak. However, every departure provides a new opportunity and the Rockets are now set to begin their quest to find the next P.J. Tucker.

Houston Rockets: Who will be the next P.J. Tucker?

The Rockets will be hard-pressed to find an exact replica of Tucker but they need someone to fill his hybrid role as a stretch-four and wing defender. The most important quality, for whomever mans the Tucker-role, is defensive versatility.

Outside of defensive versatility, the next most crucial trait is for the player to be able to be a low-usage offensive contributor. Whether it’s through cutting, spot-up shooting, or quick decisive passes the player needs to be able to boost the offense without having the ball in their hands constantly.

The Rockets are entering a rebuild and they need to find useful NBA players who can contribute to their next playoff-caliber team. These are three players that can fill P.J. Tucker’s shoes.

Next: #3

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