According to the latest NBA trade rumors, several teams are apparently worried that Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker might be “cooked.”
To no one’s surprise, the Houston Rockets are in a dreary state of rebuilding after James Harden forced his way out. They had lost 11 straight games heading into Monday’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers, and while Christian Wood and Victor Oladipo may be worth hanging onto for the long-term, this team’s focus should be turning established veterans into younger players and future draft picks to help turn the page.
P.J. Tucker is one such player that Houston should consider moving before the 2021 NBA Trade Deadline, but according to the latest NBA trade rumors, the rest of the league is conflicted over what he has left in the tank.
On The Bill Simmons’ Podcast, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan said she talked to several people around the league about the Rockets forward. Apparently, half of them were “bullish” on what he could offer a new team, while the other half believe he may be “cooked.”
Is P.J. Tucker cooked already?
Tucker’s numbers have admittedly taken a steep dive this season, and that’s saying something for a guy whose value never showed up too often in the box score as it was. Through 30 games, Tucker was averaging 4.5 points (lowest since his rookie year) and 4.7 rebounds per game (third-lowest of his career) while shooting a career-worst 36.5 percent from the field and a dismal 31.7 percent from 3-point range.
To be fair, Tucker is a seasoned veteran who’s played for losing teams before. After his time with the Phoenix Suns (and just by being able to read a room), it was clear the Rockets weren’t going to be very good once Harden was shipped out. For a guy who spent the last season or two logging the majority of his minutes at center, it’s easy to understand why he wouldn’t continue killing himself night in and night out for an organization that has clearly reached the rebuilding chapter of its story.
More than likely, a change of scenery would reinvigorate Tucker, who’s been one the league’s most underrated, multi-positional defenders for years now, as well as a reliable corner 3 sniper. We’ll have to wait and see if the “bullish” half of the league that MacMullan talked to winds up rescuing him from Houston before the 35-year-old completely wastes away.