Rockets to fully guarantee final season of PJ Tucker’s contract
The Houston Rockets made PJ Tucker their pseudo “center” when they orchestrated a trade that sent Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks while bringing Robert Covington to Houston.
Now, the Rockets are set to fully guarantee the fourth and final season of Tucker’s contract in 2020-21, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 9, 2020
Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reported the details of the deal:
Rockets will guarantee the final season of P.J. Tucker’s contract, worth $7.97 million, a source said. The Athletic had first. Only $2.57 million was guaranteed, but obviously the Rockets intend to hang on to their starting center at that price.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) February 9, 2020
Tucker has steadily become a more important part of Houston’s frontcourt in recent years.
The 34-year-old started in all 82 games last season, averaging 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds while shooting nearly 38 percent from beyond the arc on 4.7 attempts per game. Tucker continues to thrive as an undersized forward this season, averaging 7.4 points and 7.1 boards through Houston’s first 52 games.
Although Tucker is hardly the most prolific player on Houston’s roster, he is a crucial glue guy that offers positional versatility and shows a consistent willingness in doing whatever it takes to win.
Tucker has also earned his fair share of praise from his peers in recent years. Brooklyn Nets star — and former playoff opponent — Kevin Durant called Tucker the best one-on-one defender in the NBA back in September, citing his ability to get into the body and wreak havoc with active hands.
Of course, this will be an entirely new role for PJ Tucker. Although he still figures to play more from the perimeter, the Rockets will need Tucker to get in the trenches and fight for every rebound and loose ball. At the very least, he will have to find a way to make things difficult for some of the elite bigs in the Western Conference.
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