Ever since P.J. Tucker was pulled from the LA Clippers rotation earlier this season, Milwaukee Bucks fans have been clamoring for a reunion with the veteran forward.
Of course, Tucker was a key cog on Milwaukee's 2021 title team before leaving in free agency in what was a controversy-filled move. His defense and intensity were vital in that run, and many believe that he can bring that same type of swagger to this current Milwaukee team.
While Tucker could help this Milwaukee team, a trade wouldn't make much sense. He's on the books for $11 million this season, which is a hefty price for a player who is admittedly having a down year. Trading valuable contracts like Bobby Portis or Pat Connaughton would be far from ideal to land a player who may have lost a step or two since he was previously on the team.
Instead, the likeliest pathway to bringing Tucker back would be through a buyout, and it appears the Washington Wizards could potentially lend them a hand.
Wizards could be crucial in helping the Bucks bring back fan-favorite
According to Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer, the Wizards are a possible landing spot for Tucker ahead of the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline. However, rather than keeping him, the Wizards would offer Tucker an opportunity to be bought out. In that case, Fischer named the Bucks and Phoenix Suns are "possible homes" for the 38-year-old veteran and champion.
On a buyout, the forward would make sense for Milwaukee. He'd be a low-cost addition who has a good amount of familiarity with the key cogs on the roster. Even if he's not the player he once was, he could still provide some combination of defense, leadership, intensity, and toughness. Those are all attributes a team can never have too much of, and the front office seemingly knows that.
For now, it's all about the waiting game. Even if Tucker did become available, Milwaukee's roster is full. They'd have to cut a player with a standard contract or make a trade to free up a spot. Things will not heat up until closer to the February trade deadline, in all likelihood. Bringing him in would not be the needle-tipping move that pushes this team over the edge, but it could potentially help out.
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