Phoenix Suns forward P. J. Tucker may not be an All-Star, and his face is not on the billboards, but basketball fans know that he does bring the intangibles that simply cannot be taught. He won't fill the stat sheet, but the toughness and hustle that he brings to each game just can't be overlooked. That is why a number of contenders are looking to acquire him before the February trade deadline.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports has reported that the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Atlanta Hawks are all interested in the Suns' defensive specialist.
Tucker is in the final year of his contract, and some teams are obviously looking to acquire him for a playoff run. However, Gambadoro also noted that there are also teams that were looking to keep him beyond this season.
Tucker is fully aware that his name has been mentioned in trade rumors, and he seems fine with it.
"It's part of business. Contract year. Being a defensive player, a lot of teams are looking to make an addition to (help) fight for a championship. But for me, it's just focusing on being with my team and trying to win games. It happens every contract year. A lot of talk. A lot of it's just rumors and people talking, but you never know in business. You just try to stay ready and block it out," he told azcentral sports.
Of course, Tucker won't come cheap. Suns general manager Ryan McDonough has told Arizona Sports that they would not give up one of their core players for a second-round pick, so teams would have to give them a better offer. Teams will have to offer a first-round pick or an up-and-coming player to acquire Tucker. But are they willing to risk losing their assets for a player in the final year of his contract? Tucker could always sign elsewhere in the offseason. He doesn't have to stay with that team that ends up with him.
Tucker is on a lot of teams' list, but McDonough said that they might just re-sign him in the offseason. "We don't have another player like him on the roster. There's certainly a chance we could resign him," he said in an interview with Arizona Sports.