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P.J. Tucker Trade Rumors: Timberwolves Expected to Engage for Veteran Forward

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 15, 2021

Logan Riely

The Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly "maintained contact" with the Houston Rockets about a potential trade for power forward P.J. Tucker.

Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reported Thursday the Wolves are expected to "re-engage" the Rockets in discussions after James Harden's blockbuster trade to the Brooklyn Nets.

Minnesota isn't the only team trying to capitalize on Houston's roster overhaul, which began in the offseason when the Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards for a package that included John Wall.

"Multiple teams" have reached out to the Rockets about Tucker's availability since word of the Harden deal went public Wednesday, per Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

The 35-year-old University of Texas product is best known for his ability to defend multiple positions and hit corner threes. That versatility was a major reason Houston was able to successfully run extreme small-ball lineups last season as he stepped in to guard opposing centers despite being just 6'5".

Tucker has averaged 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 52.6 percent from the field across 10 appearances so far during the 2020-21 season.

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Meanwhile, the Timberwolves have struggled out of the gate, with their 3-8 record leaving them in last place in the Western Conference.

Star center Karl-Anthony Towns has been limited to four appearances because of a wrist injury, and Minnesota has been unable to find another reliable frontcourt contributor.

Tucker, who's in the final season of a four-year, $31.9 million contract, would be an ideal addition to provide some support around Towns without a long-term financial commitment.

For a team desperately needing a spark, he's the type of player who can provide it while also filling an important void on the roster.

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