The Milwaukee Bucks continue to be interested in one of the hottest names during this trade market.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski during a recent appearance on ESPN’s NBA Countdown, the Bucks are among the many teams and title contenders that are vying for veteran Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker:
“There’s a lot of interest among contenders in (P.J.) Tucker, who is in the last year of his deal. The Miami Heat, who the Lakers play tonight, Milwaukee, Brooklyn and several others.”
That wasn’t all that Woj reported on in regards to the grizzled vet as he outlined the kind of package that the Rockets are reportedly interested in taking back in any potential Tucker deal:
“One thing I’m told is that Houston wants back not picks, but a player they can plug back into their lineup.”
That’s a very relevant detail to the Bucks, considering where the pick situation stands as of now.
The Milwaukee Bucks continue to be linked to P.J. Tucker in trade rumors.
Of course, this isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to the Bucks being linked to Tucker as his time with the Rockets is nearing an end as action ahead of next month’s trade deadline starts to heat up. The Bucks had first been linked to Tucker before the start of their busy offseason and last year’s NBA Draft.
Chatter regarding Tucker’s dissatisfaction with his future in Houston and the lack of contract talks have faded on in the background. Yet Tucker’s name has still consistently been thrown out there, especially as the Rockets have gone under a different direction since dealing away superstar James Harden.
Over his 26 appearances on the year, Tucker is averaging 4.7 points on .375/.329/.824 shooting splits, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 30 minutes per game. Not exactly eye-popping numbers, but Tucker’s value has always come on the defensive end.
It’s on that note where the Bucks could certainly more help as they are allowing 110 points per 100 possessions this season, per NBA.com/stats. That defensive rating ranks 10th in the league and more defensive experimentation from Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer has made the Bucks’ defensive activity a work in progress.
Tucker, even at 35 years old, can help the Bucks regain their defensive steel. But as we’ve previously covered, Tucker’s $7.96 million salary for this season is a tough number for the Bucks to get to when trying to build a trade package without parting away with any of their more notable contributors.
If the Rockets’ asking price reported by Woj is to be believed, the Bucks can squeeze into trade discussions with Houston, who will certainly field many calls for Tucker’s services. The fact that Woj notes it will be a seller’s market this deadline and from that lens, the Bucks would have entertain cashing in one of their few significant trade chips for what will very likely be a rental going into their playoff run this season.
That may be a harsh assessment of the situation, but it’s the one the Bucks find themselves in, especially after taking a big swing to land Jrue Holiday last fall. Despite the many challenges at hand, we’ll continue to monitor how far along the Bucks’ interest in Tucker goes at this rate.