In NBA news, it has been reported that small forward P.J. Tucker, formerly of the Suns and the Raptors, has signed with the Houston Rockets. As KPRC Houston reported, an AP source confirmed that P.J. Tucker signed a four-year deal worth $32 million with the Houston Rockets late Saturday night. Though he may not shut a lot of players down one-on-one, Tucker is a huge threat that few feel comfortable going up against. The 11-year veteran is a multifaceted defender known for his physical gameplay. Including his postseason showings, the 32-year-old played for a total of 91 games last season and had a PPG (Points Per Game) of 6.7 and an RPG (Rebounds Per Game) of 5.8. In addition, Tucker had a 40 percent success rate with 3-point shots while playing for the Raptors.
Tucker heading to the Rockets leaves a huge hole in the Raptors' defense. Toronto acquired Tucker from the Suns in a mid-season trade last season for Jared Sullinger (and second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018, as well as cash considerations). Reportedly, Houston first sought Warriors' Andre Iguodala for the position. But when Iguodala decided to stay with the Warriors, for a three-year deal worth $48 million, the Rockets set their eyes on Tucker. Houston was in trade talks with the Cleveland Cavaliers for their shooting guard Iman Shumpert, but now after acquiring Tucker, it looks like Shumpert is probably a no-go.
Out of the entire NBA, the Houston Rockets were one of the strongest offensive teams last season, and strengthening their defense greatly increases the threat that they pose on the court. In addition to acquiring Tucker, at the end of last month the Rockets made room for former Clippers' point guard Chris Paul by trading him for Sam Dekker, Patrick Beverley, Montrezl Harrell, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Lou WIlliams, Kyle Wiltjer, a future first-round pick, and cash considerations.
The Houston Rockets have won a total of two NBA Championships, four conference titles, and five divisional titles. With their heavy-handed lineup in place — including Paul, Tucker, Trevor Ariza, and James Harden at the helm — the Rockets' are hoping that their next season will bring more titles and another NBA Championship.
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