P.J. Tucker Says New Rockets Contract 'Not the Total Goal,' Wants to Be 'Wanted'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2020

Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker (17) grabs a rebound between Los Angeles Lakers' Danny Green, left, and Markieff Morris during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker has been forthcoming with his frustration over not yet receiving a long-term extension with the team. On Monday, he further elaborated on those frustrations.

"It's not even just getting a contract extension. That's not the total goal," he told reporters. "The goal is to be in a place where you're wanted. You want to be with who wants you. I think that's what every player wants. Nobody wants to be somewhere that doesn't want them. And there's certain ways to show that, and it's not just contract extensions."

As for how he'll feel playing for the Rockets if an extension doesn't happen, Tucker was curt. 

"I'll do my job," he said.

Tucker, 35, is in the final year of a four-year, $32 million contract. He's been a crucial part of Houston's string of postseason appearances the past three years, providing leadership, defensive versatility and spacing with his three-point shooting (36.9 percent from three in Houston). 

His discontent mirrors a larger theme in Houston this offseason, however. Mike D'Antoni, Daryl Morey, Russell Westbrook and Robert Covington are already gone. Reports continue to suggest that James Harden wants to be traded. Rockets head coach Stephen Silas has inherited a roster with upheaval and key figures from the previous regime that aren't happy. 

Silas did say on Monday that he has talked with Harden, though not about the player's commitment to the team in the long term.

"We talked basketball," he said. "I'm a basketball coach, and he's a basketball player. We talked hoop today. As far as his commitment to what we're doing basketball-wise, he was right there. As far as the rumors and all the other stuff I can't speak to, again, that's another question you'll have to ask of him."