With their game against the Sixers at Wells Fargo Center mere minutes away from tipping off Wednesday night, the Bucks reportedly made a trade.
Milwaukee agreed to acquire veteran P.J. Tucker, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Below are the reported terms of the deal:
Putting aside the draft picks changing hands, the main takeaway from the trade is that the Bucks are adding frontcourt depth while losing backcourt depth. Point guard D.J. Augustin has averaged 6.1 points and 3.0 assists in 37 games this season after signing with the Bucks in free agency. Evidently, the Bucks did not see Augustin as an essential piece of their playoff rotation.
Tucker, 35, wanted to move on from the Rockets, who entered their game Wednesday night against the Warriors on a 17-game losing streak. He’s shot 31.4 percent from three-point range and not played at a high level this year, but multiple reports indicated that several contending teams were interested in Tucker’s services. The Sixers were reportedly among the teams with interest at one stage. Tucker has a reputation as a tough, savvy player who, despite only standing 6-foot-5, can defend opposing centers.
Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey knows Tucker and his corner 3-and-D game well from their time together in Houston. With Joel Embiid out because of a left knee bone bruise, Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard have been the Sixers’ main center options. The team has been linked with other stretch four/stretch five options besides Tucker such as the Kings’ Nemanja Bjelica.
Howard has played very well since the All-Star break, and the Sixers have appreciated his physicality, energy and off-court leadership. Whether he’d be the best backup center for the Sixers in the playoffs remains an open question. Morey added Howard this offseason on a veteran minimum contract.
Heading into Wednesday’s game, the Sixers were 28-12, a game ahead of the second-place Nets and 2.5 games in front of the third-place Bucks in the Eastern Conference. The trade deadline is eight days away, so there’s still plenty of time for Morey to make moves.