The Milwaukee Bucks acquire forward P.J. Houston Rockets’ Tucker in a deal to bolster the franchise’s playoff push in the Eastern Conference, sources told ESPN.
Jon Horst, general manager of Bucks, had been following Tucker tenaciously for the past few weeks, and on late Wednesday afternoon a contract was signed with Rockets GM Rafael Stone.
The bucks send guard DJ Augustin and Forward D.J. Wilson on the Rockets for Tucker and Forward Rodions Kurucs, sources said. The key to closing the deal lies in redirecting draft picks that the two teams traded earlier in the off-season. Houston is pushing back on the unprotected 2023 draft that Milwaukee owes in the first round in 2022, sources said. The Rockets have the right to swap their selection for the second round 2021 for the selection for the first round of the Bucks in 2021 – unless it somehow falls to 1-9 in the 2021 draft, sources said.
Essentially, from the end of the first round – where they are expected to pick this season – to the end of the second round, where the Rockets – who own the second round – will go back some slots. worst record in the league – seems destined to land.
Milwaukee is also passing Torrey Craig on to the Phoenix Suns in a separate deal, sources said. The Suns are not sending a player back to the dollars in the deal for Craig, sources said. Craig couldn’t find a rotating role in Milwaukee after leaving Denver to sign a free agent deal in the off-season, but arrives in Phoenix with defensive versatility and a playoff tested pedigree.
The 35-year-old Tucker is key to trading for the bucks who were determined to add his defensive strength and playoff experience to the bucks’ playoff push. Tucker and the Missiles recently decided to back off the team until a deal could be found. The Rockets, who have suffered injuries and losers from 17 games in a row, are now entering a recovery mode. The Bucks are 25-14, 2.5 games behind first place in Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference. They won nine out of ten games.
Houston could have three picks for the first round in the 2021 NBA draft: Milwaukee’s, Portland’s, and either their own top 4 protected picks, or Miami’s from Oklahoma City’s three-way Swap rights.
The 35-year-old Tucker was a major role-player during his three and a half year tenure with the Rockets, contributing significantly more than his averages of 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game indicate. He often defended the opponent’s top scorer – he played in the center despite standing only 6-foot-5 in Houston’s short-lived experiment with small balls last season – and served primarily as a 3-point corner threat that hit the ground offensive distributed. Tucker is in the final season of a four-year contract for $ 32 million. The Rockets didn’t guarantee the final year of the deal until February 2020.
Tucker, who played 267 consecutive games until an injured thigh paused him for two games in February, showed up late at training camp in the fall and admitted that he felt unappreciated after the breakdown of contract extension discussions.
The Rockets thought they were on the verge of signing Tucker for a two-year extension for $ 17 million with a guaranteed $ 10 million, sources said, however the Houston front office turned it down after Tucker’s camp countered with a proposal for a fully guaranteed two-year contract valued at $ 24 million.
Tucker struggled this season as the Rockets after the trades of Russell Westbrook and James Harden got mixed up and recorded career lows in points per game (4.4), field goal percentage (36.6%) and 3-point percentage (31.4%) en.
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