NBA Rumors: Bucks Reportedly Acquire PJ Tucker From Rockets

Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker looks on during a game.
Gettyimages | Christian Petersen
Basketball

With the NBA's March 25 trade deadline a little more than a week away, the Milwaukee Bucks took action to upgrade two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's supporting cast and appear to be close to adding Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker to their lineup. This comes as they continue their push to contend for a championship in the 2020-21 season.

As reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday evening, the deal was struck that afternoon after weeks of "persistent" negotiations to acquire the veteran role player from the Rockets.

Details Of The Trade

Citing his sources, Wojnarowski wrote that the Bucks agreed to acquire Tucker and backup forward Rodions Kurucs from the Rockets in exchange for guard D.J. Augustin and forward D.J. Wilson. However, the “key to completing the deal” would be the draft picks both teams had traded during the 2020 offseason.

The ESPN insider further explained that per the terms of the transaction, the 2022 first-round pick the Rockets previously acquired from the Bucks will be “[pushed] back” to the unprotected 2023 draft. Additionally, Houston will be able to swap their 2021 second-rounder for Milwaukee’s 2021 first-rounder, provided the Bucks don’t pick in the top nine of this year’s draft.

Tucker Brings Defense & Playoff Experience To Milwaukee

Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker steals the ball from Dennis Schroder, then playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Gettyimages | Kevin C. Cox

According to Wojnarowski, Tucker will provide the Bucks with some much-needed “defensive grit and playoff experience” as they continue their quest to make a deep postseason run and hopefully win a championship. Currently, the Bucks are two-and-a-half games behind the Philadelphia 76ers, with their 25-14 record placing them third in the Eastern Conference.

The Rockets, who recently deactivated Tucker while searching for a trade partner, have lost 17 straight games as of this writing and rank second-to-last in the Western Conference with an 11-27 record.

Tucker's Contributions Mostly Don't Show On Stat Sheet

With career averages of 6.5 points and 5.8 rebounds, the 6-foot-5-inch Tucker has been known through the years as an “essential” role player whose contributions don’t always show up on the stat sheet. Wojnarowski pointed out that he was typically used by the Rockets to defend the opposing team’s top scorer and spot up for three-point shots in the corners.

The 35-year-old is also capable of playing multiple positions and had, despite his lack of size, suited up at center last season when the Rockets experimented with a “small-ball” style of play.

Rockets End Up With Veteran Guard

Milwaukee Bucks guard DJ Augustin is defended by Raul Neto of the Washington Wizards.
Gettyimages | Patrick Smith

Meanwhile, the rebuilding Rockets will be getting two players who could play key roles off the bench once the Tucker trade is finalized. As noted by Yahoo Sports, the 33-year-old Augustin had mainly served as a backup point guard for the Bucks, averaging 6.1 points in about 19 minutes per game while playing behind Jrue Holiday.

Wilson, a four-year veteran who has played sparingly for Milwaukee this season, might also have a chance of seeing playing time on a Rockets team that has been beset by a lack of depth and frequent injuries.