NBA Rumors: P.J. Tucker Expected to Interest Multiple Contenders in NBA Free Agency

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 22, 2022

BOSTON, MA - MAY 23: P.J. Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat dribbles the ball against the Boston Celtics during Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on May 23, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Veteran forward P.J. Tucker is reportedly expected to have a big market for his services in NBA free agency this offseason.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, sources have indicated that Tucker will "have interest from multiple contending teams willing to offer the full mid-level exception."

The 37-year-old Tucker declined his $7.35 million player option with the Miami Heat this week, allowing him to test the market ahead of his 12th NBA season.

Tucker spent last season in Miami after previous stints as a member of the Toronto Raptors, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

In 71 regular-season games, 70 of which were starts, Tucker averaged 7.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.1 made three-pointers per contest while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and a career-best 41.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Overall, it marked arguably Tucker's best production since the 2015-16 season, which was his final full campaign in Phoenix.

Tucker was even better during the Heat's playoff run, which brought them all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals before falling to the Boston Celtics.

In 18 postseason games, Tucker averaged 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 made three-pointers. He also shot 49.5 percent from the floor and 45.1 percent from long range.

Tucker cemented himself as a key playoff performer one year after playing a sizable role in the Bucks winning an NBA championship.

While Tucker's career regular-season averages of 7.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 three-pointers don't leap off the page, his versatility, veteran savvy and championship experience make him a highly sought after commodity on the free-agent market.

Given how extensively he was utilized by head coach Erik Spoelstra last season, it stands to reason that Miami is one of the teams that would have interest in Tucker in free agency.

Some of the other top championship contenders in the NBA include the Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Bucks, Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, all of whom would benefit from a player of Tucker's ilk.