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Rockets Trade Rumors: P.J. Tucker of Interest to Multiple Teams If Available

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2020

Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker (17) reacts during the first half of an NBA conference semifinal playoff basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker would reportedly generate interest from "multiple teams" should he become available on the trade market.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported Saturday that Tucker's agent, Andre Buck, recently met with Rockets general manager Rafael Stone about an extension as the defensive standout enters the final season of a four-year, $31.9 million contract, leaving an uncertain future.

Tucker averaged 6.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 41.5 percent from the field across 72 appearances for the Rockets last season. Those numbers are pretty much in line with his career numbers after nine years in the NBA, including the past three in Houston.

While most of his statistical production doesn't jump off the page, he's emerged as a terrific complementary player thanks to his defense and outside shooting.

The 35-year-old ranked ninth among power forwards in ESPN's Defensive Real Plus-Minus in 2019-20, and he hit 1.5 threes per game on 35.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Tucker (6'5", 245 pounds) also showcased his versatility last season, playing center for extended stretches with the Rockets utilizing some extreme small-ball lineups to create matchup problems.

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Houston's roster may be in the midst of some massive changes, though. Russell Westbrook was dealt in early December in a blockbuster that brought fellow point guard John Wall to the Rockets, while trade rumors continue to swirl around 2017-18 NBA MVP James Harden.

It's possible—and even probable if Harden is moved—the front office will look to reshape the team's core over the next year. If so, Tucker could become another valuable trade chip who will attract attention from several contenders.

Should he stay with the Rockets for the entire season, he remains "open" to re-signing with the franchise, even if he hits the free-agent market before a new deal is reached, per Scotto.

Houston tips off the campaign Wednesday when it hosts the Oklahoma City Thunder at Toyota Center.

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