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NBA Trade Rumors: Clippers Reportedly Interested P.J. Tucker

They aren’t the only contender making calls.

Los Angeles Clippers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

According to Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro, the Clippers are one of a few teams interested in acquiring P.J. Tucker.

Tucker, a 31-year-old veteran wing, is known for his defensive chops and rebounding ability. He’s currently averaging 7.5 rebounds per 36, in line with his career average, while playing most of his minutes at SF, but also spots at PF. The problem with Tucker’s game is his shooting—he’s at just 30% from deep on the season, and he doesn’t take a ton of shots—just 2 a game. He’s better from the corners (35%, and over 80% of his attempts come from there), but that just demonstrates how abysmal he is from above the break.

Still, he’s shooting better from three overall and from the corner than Wesley Johnson, who’s currently playing backup PF minutes for the Clippers in small-ball lineups. Johnson, though, is having an outlier year and actually has a better TRB% than Tucker on the season. Tucker also has superior defensive abilities, and would hopefully get better looks from deep in the Clippers’ offense than with the Suns. He’s probably an up over Johnson, but a marginal one.

Gambadoro reports that the Clippers are just one of a few teams—including the Bulls, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Hawks—who are interested in the Suns forward. He also reports that the Suns likely aren’t willing to part with Tucker unless they can get a first-round pick or good prospect in return.

From the Clippers’ perspective, that’s probably a deal-breaker. As I mentioned, Tucker is only a marginal upgrade over Wesley Johnson, and the Clippers don’t exactly have a ton of future first rounders to give away. They’d probably give up a future second-rounder, but according to the report, that isn’t enough for the Suns.

We’ll see how the market for Tucker shapes up as the trade deadline. It seems like most teams wouldn’t be willing to give up a first rounder, and the Suns could get antsy given P.J.’s expiring contract.