P.J. Tucker sits out Thursday, likely played last game for Rockets
A frustrated P.J. Tucker — who reportedly has grown impatient waiting for the struggling Rockets to trade him — told Rockets staff he would not play Thursday night against the Kings.
This isn’t just a one-game thing. Tucker is now away from the team and likely played his last game as a Houston Rocket. The franchise is now looking for a trade for the veteran forward, coach Stephen Silas confirmed after the Kings handed the Rockets their 14th straight loss Thursday night.
Stephen Silas on PJ Tucker: “We’re going to try to figure out something that works for him and works for us as far as him not being on the team anymore. I was under the assumption that he was going to play tonight and he didn’t play. That was disappointing.”— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) March 12, 2021
Tucker has grown increasingly frustrated that he has yet to be moved to a contender and made it clear that he’d prefer to sit out games until the front office finds a deal for him ahead of the March 25 trade deadline, sources told ESPN...
The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are among teams that have discussed possible deals with the Rockets in recent weeks, sources said.
So far, the Rockets’ preference for a young, productive rotation player in trade talks has been a sticking point with teams, which haven’t been willing to part with that kind of an asset for a 35-year-old on an expiring contract, sources said.
Houston has been trying to trade Tucker for most of the season.
Houston got a haul of picks in the James Harden trade with Brooklyn. With the draft cupboard stocked, sources with teams who have had conversations with the Rockets have told NBC Sports that Houston has made it clear it now wants young players — not picks — back in trades. This is not just a Tucker thing, conversations around potentially trading Eric Gordon or Victor Oladipo also focus on players over picks.
Of course, other teams are hesitant to surrender a quality young player in any trade. Houston is hoping the pressure of the trade deadline will force one team to change its mind, and a deal will get made.
Until then, P.J. Tucker will be away from the Houston Rockets and the NBA.