The San Antonio Spurs have a need on the wing and P.J. Tucker is on the trading block. Should the Spurs make a move for the three-and-D veteran?
The Spurs don’t have much cash to spend in free agency, so they may need to test the trade market in order to fill those two needs this summer.
Luckily, it looks like the Houston Rockets are in firesale mode as general manager Daryl Morey attempts to shake up the roster around James Harden, and they have some interesting pieces that may be available for a decent price.
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The New York Times’ Marc Stein reported that Houston is “actively exploring the trade market” for the 34-year-old P.J. Tucker this offseason.
If the Spurs are trying to take the a significant step forward next season, Tucker would be a great fit.
He’s hit over 37% of his three-point attempts over the past two seasons with the Rockets, and Tucker would be even more valuable on the defensive end where he ranked seventh among the league’s small forwards in defensive real plus-minus last season while swiping 1.6 steals per game.
Tucker has been extremely valuable as a small-ball center during his time in Houston with his ability to switch and guard all five positions if necessary, and he provides more spacing on the offensive end than most of the league’s centers.
The former Texas Longhorn has two years left on his contract with an average salary of about $8 million, but the second year has only $2.5 million in guaranteed money so the team with Tucker’s rights could cut him with minimal financial damage if they need to.
The Spurs would have to give up some sort of positive asset in theis trade for a player who fits so well in today’s NBA, and I don’t think that’s worth it to acquire a 34-year-old at a position where he may only have one or two good years left.
I beleive the Spurs should be focusing on the next generation of San Antonio basketball and continuing to build a strong core around Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker, and possibly Jakob Poeltl.
Trading for P.J. Tucker would help this team immensely during the DeRozan and Aldridge era, but I think there is a cap on how far that team can go led by those two players.
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While I think adding a guy like Tucker would make the Spurs much better next year, they shouldn’t give up an asset for a player that will not be a member of the next great team in San Antonio.