The Houston Rockets made a big decision earlier this season by trading away James Harden to the Brooklyn Nets in a big three-team trade.
This put them in a situation where winning is no longer a realistic option for this season, maybe even in the next few years.
That’s why it wasn’t really a surprise when head coach Stephen Silas announced that veteran forward PJ Tucker will no longer be part of the Rockets’ future and that both parties have agreed to go their separate ways.
“We’re going to try to figure out something that works for him and works for us as far as him not being on the team anymore. I was under the assumption that he was going to be playing tonight, and he didn’t play. That was disappointing, but there’s no secret that it’s been a rough year,” Silas stated in the interview.
Teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, Miami Heat and the Nets have all showed interest in possibly acquiring 35-year-old forward before the trade deadline on March 25.
But which team would he really fit with?
Tucker was never the type of guy that would up 25 points per game on the team, he was never a star not a first scoring option. He wasn’t the biggest as well, so he won’t be grabbing 15 rebounds per outing nor will he block four or five shots per game. His also not the fastest, so he won’t take away two or three steals a game.
But what he does best are being versatile, being physical and being tough and plays with a lot of heart.
Standing at 6’5, Tucker is capable of playing positions three to five. He’s a decent enough shooter to be threat and helps spread the floor. Despite his height, his energy, hustle and toughness allow him to be able to compete underneath despite going up against guys like Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic and Rudy Gobert, the giants of the West.
His lower height makes him a tad faster than other bigs which completes his form as a great piece to have in a title contending team in today’s NBA.
For his career, Tucker has averaged 7.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists in 42.0% shooting from the field and 35.9% shooting from the three-point line.
In the 32 games he’s played this season, he’s averaging 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists in 36.6% shooting from the field and 31.4% shooting from deep.
His impact in the game goes beyond the stat-sheet, becoming a leader on the court and in the locker room. He also has experience in playing in the biggest stage thanks to his time with Harden and Chris Paul when the two was leading the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals not too long ago.
The defending champion Lakers is one of the teams that’s interested in possibly acquiring Tucker.
He would add depth to the best basketball team in LA, especially, now that Davis is currently out because of injury.
However, him and Montrezl Harrell would be delivering the same thing on the table, which is energy and rebounding, which could be a problem since they’re not much different from each other in terms of playstyle.
The Bucks would benefit with Tucker’s addition. Since league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is still working on his jump shot, he could be another space creator as well as added defender and rebounder to the team which will allow Antetokounmpo to have more energy on offense.
The Heat in my opinion should be aggressive on acquiring Tucker since they lost a big piece of their team when Jae Crowder joined the Phoenix Suns during the offseason.
The Miami Heat is currently 28th in rebounding and their toughness and aggressiveness on defense seems to have toned down with Crowder’s departure.
Now, adding Tucker, a guy who’s like Crowder could give them the boost they need to once again be very competitive, especially, in the postseason.
Lastly, the team that I think should go really hard for Tucker is the Dallas Mavericks.
24th in rebounding and in defense. It’s obvious that Dallas isn’t having the best squad in terms of playing on the defensive end.
They got bucket getters in their team like Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr, Jalen Brunson, Kristaps Porzingis etc… But not many defenders and rebound battlers.
Josh Richardson was supposed to be that guy but he just isn’t cutting it.
Tucker’s addition would give the Mavs the veteran leader and hustle guy that they need to be tougher and be more competitive this season. Which could ignite the fire in them once again.
Where do you think Tucker should go? Which team would benefit the most with his addition? Sound off in comment section.