Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US Presswire
The signing of 2006 NBA second-round pick P.J. Tucker had many Phoenix Suns fans asking, "who?"
The term "NBA journeyman" gets thrown around a lot with guys who have played for a plethora of teams in their NBA careers. Players like current Sun Sebastian Telfair (six teams in eight seasons) and former Sun Lou Amundson (five teams in six seasons) are good examples.
Compared to these two players, P.J. Tucker is what we'll call a world basketball journeyman. He's played professionally in Israel, Ukraine, Greece, Italy, Puerto Rico and Germany after a brief NBA stint with the Toronto Raptors where he was drafted in 2006.
Stefan Swiat wrote a rather entertaining blog about Tucker's experiences overseas, asking about everything from the country with the craziest fans to the best food.
It's not enough to know how many countries the guy has played for, however, so I delved into the archives to find Tucker's 2006 draft profile (via ESPN):
P.J. Tucker is 6-5. That's great if you're a point guard, tolerable if you're a shooting guard and regrettable if you're a small forward. If however, you are, like Tucker, most comfortable down under the basket, scoring in the post and banging for rebounds... well, that lack of size is pretty much a deal-breaker.
Even though Tucker's play most resembles an NBA power forward, his distinct lack of size dropped him in the 2006 NBA draft to the second round, 35th overall.
What separates Tucker from the competition is his motor.
According to an article by Suns beat writer Paul Coro, Tucker had a few important notes about his evolution as a player.
"When I was in Toronto, I wasn't half the player I am now," Tucker said.
"I just stick my neck out and play hard. I never let anyone outwork me," Tucker said.
Signing Tucker, who has had a long road back to the NBA to say the least, is a feel-good story.
However, if the Suns decide to pick up another veteran at any point next season (a la Michael Redd last season who replaced the class act Garret Siler), Tucker could be the odd man out.