Milwaukee Bucks: Regrading the renowned P.J. Tucker trade after title

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 22 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JULY 22 (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo, P.J. Tucker
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JULY 20 (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

After word began spreading that he wanted a trade from the Houston Rockets, P.J. Tucker soon popped up on the Milwaukee Bucks’ radar last season.

Due to his defensive excellence, veteran savviness, and battle-tested experience in a postseason environment, Tucker was a dream trade target for every contender. Indeed, as the trade deadline crept closer, it seemed like every top contender was making the Rockets offers for the veteran in an attempt to bring him aboard. In the end, it was the Bucks who would come to terms with the Rockets and agree on a deal for Tucker.

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The rest is truly history. Tucker would play a key role for the Bucks throughout their playoff run, particularly as he was thrown into the starting lineup unexpectedly after a brutal injury to Donte DiVincenzo.

After enduring his share of heartbreaking defeats in previous trips to the playoffs in his career, Tucker would finally emerge as the victor and help the Bucks win the title for the first time in over 50 years. Tucker’s tenure with the team will be remembered forever for his efforts in this run.

When the surprise deal went down in March, I gave it a B+ for general manager Jon Horst and the Bucks. Well, knowing what would happen just a few months later, it seems safe to say the initial grade might need a redo to give Horst and co. the proper applause. With that being said, let us take a look back on the Tucker deal by considering all the factors that went into it and give it a new overall grade.

The financial outlook of the P.J. Tucker trade for the Milwaukee Bucks

The most challenging part for the Bucks in acquiring Tucker was overcoming the financial hurdles, as there were plenty of them.

Due to having one of the highest payrolls in the entire association, the team would have their hands tied financially, meaning Horst would have some maneuvering to do in order to absorb Tucker’s $8 million salary. Ultimately, Horst accepted the challenge and managed to masterfully craft a deal that would bring in the veteran forward. Just as it was when the deal first went down, nailing the financial aspect of this deal was quality work by the former Executive of the Year.

Of course, it would be easy to rave about the move now, knowing how crucial Tucker proved to be for the Bucks’ title-winning campaign. Considering how impactful he was for them, one could say that he deserved more money than he was making. Nevertheless, Tucker’s $8 million was a fine price to pay for the champs in their title-winning campaign, especially considering what they successfully offloaded to make the trade in the first place.