P.J. Tucker Rumors: 76ers Expected to Acquire Rockets Wing via Trade or Buyout

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 5, 2021

Houston Rockets' P.J. Tucker reacts to hi3 point basket during the first half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker is reportedly expected to end up with the Philadelphia 76ers this season.

According to Tom Haberstroh of TrueHoop, "several rival executives" believe Tucker will either get traded to the Sixers for a second-round pick or sign with Philly after getting bought out.

Tucker is a prime candidate to be moved since he can become a free agent at the end of the season and the Rockets are 14th in the Western Conference at 11-23.

The 35-year-old Tucker is in the midst of his fourth season with the Rockets and his 10th NBA season overall after previously playing for the Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns.

Tucker has started all 32 games he has appeared in this season and is averaging 4.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 30.0 minutes per contest. He is also shooting a career-worst 36.6 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc.

While Tucker's stats aren't overly impressive, he is a reliable player who rarely misses games and always gives maximum effort on the defensive end.

Tucker has appeared in at least 78 games in a season seven times and all 82 games in a season three times. He started all 72 games he appeared in last season, started 82 games in 2018-19 and started 34 of the 82 games he played in during the 2017-18 campaign.

For his career, Tucker has played in 686 regular-season games with averages of 7.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.2 steals.

At 6'5", Tucker is probably best used at small forward, but he has played a lot of power forward for the Rockets due to their lack of length and penchant for playing small ball, which underscores his versatility.

At 24-12, the Sixers are currently the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and they are a legitimate threat to go all the way and win a championship.

The 76ers are already among the best defensive teams in the NBA, as they rank fifth in the league with a defensive rating of 108.6, per NBA.com. Adding Tucker would only serve to make them stronger in that regard.

Also, Tucker has 50 career playoff games to his credit, and that experience would make him someone head coach Doc Rivers can rely on in the postseason.

Acquiring Tucker may not be a move that puts Philadelphia over the top on its own, but adding a high-effort player like him to the rotation certainly couldn't hurt.