The March 25th trade deadline is fast approaching, as the Los Angeles Lakers are sure to be talked about in rumors as they and all top contenders do each season. With a huge bulk of their team salary tied to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, it’s going to be much harder for the Lakers to land a big-name player in a trade. Throw in the fact that nearly all of their picks are tied up in the Davis-Pelicans trade, and you’d be smarter to expect a trade for a role player to help around the margins. That’s where the Houston Rockets’ P.J. Tucker comes in.
Late last night, it was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim MacMahon that P.J. Tucker decided he would not be playing in the Rockets’ game and that he’d be sitting out until the Rockets placed him on a contender. ESPN also reported that the Lakers were one of the teams discussing a trade with the Rockets for Tucker’s services, with the Lakers being joined by the likes of the Bucks, Heat, and Nets.
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.
The last bit of that reporting is telling for what a trade would look like with the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma (25 years old) and Talen Horton-Tucker (20 years old) come to mind since — well — they’re two of the few young Lakers on the team. Still, P.J. Tucker is getting paid around $7.9 million this season (according to Sportrac) meaning there would have to be an additional player added to a trade with either Kuzma or Horton-Tucker. Maybe the Lakers would consider trading Montrezl Harrell (still young at 27 years old), as he’s being paid $9.2 million this year and would assumedly receive a decrease in minutes with Tucker around playing the four mostly, a position Harrell nearly exclusively plays at.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated with any other rumors surrounding P.J. Tucker as they come out.