The Houston Rockets are a team in transition, and the Los Angeles Lakers may be able to take advantage of the situation and land versatile veteran P.J. Tucker.
Once a title contender, the Rockets appear to be headed to a more complete rebuild after trading away both Russell Westbrook and James Harden within a matter of months. As the Fansided blog Hoops Habit noted, the Rockets may soon be looking to deal other players and build up assets for this upcoming rebuild, which could leave Tucker available.
"After the most recent blockbuster trade, which saw James Harden finally fly out of Texas in exchange for Victor Oladipo and numerous picks, one thing became crystal clear. The Rockets are on the verge of a rebuilding process," the report noted, adding that the 35-year-old Tucker is on an expiring contract and is one of the most obvious candidates to be traded away to a title contender.
That could put Tucker on the radar of the Lakers, the report added, though the franchise would need to buck tradition to do so.
"Even though the Los Angeles Lakers hesitated to make any trades during their championship-winning season, history does not always repeat itself," the outlet reported.
"Given the chance to improve the team, Rob Pelinka should look really closely at how the P.J. Tucker situation unfolds in the following weeks."
While it's not clear whether Los Angeles has their eye on the sharpshooting forward, there are growing indications that Tucker will be on the move one way or another. As The Inquisitr reported, another outlet suggested that he could be part of a blockbuster deal that would also send new teammate Oladipo to the Golden State Warriors ahead of the upcoming trade deadline.
Greg Patuto of NBA Analysis Network suggested that the Warriors could send a package including Andrew Wiggins and a first-round pick in next year's draft in exchange for the Rockets pair. He noted that Oladipo is also on an expiring contract, which would make him another likely candidate. This deal would also allow the Warriors to build up more financial breathing room for the upcoming offseason when there is expected to be a strong crop of free agents.
The Rockets have not yet given an indication as to how the rest of the season will play out, but with the franchise lingering near the bottom of the Western Conference, there is growing sentiment among insiders that the team will be a more active seller around the trade deadline.