Phoenix Suns swingman P.J. Tucker is drawing trade interest from the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Utah Jazz, league sources told Basketball Insiders.
The Minnesota Timberwolves also offered Shabazz Muhammad for Tucker earlier this season, as Basketball Insiders previously reported.
Tucker is on the books for $5.3 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
While Tucker’s name has surfaced in trade talks with playoff contenders, he’s not opposed to remaining with the Suns long-term.
“Phoenix has been great to me,” Tucker told Basketball Insiders in a video interview a month ago. “I’ve been here five years. It’s been a great five years, somewhere I would love to be for a long time.”
Tucker has remained one of the league’s best on-the-ball defenders. Veteran teammate Jared Dudley has publicly praised Tucker’s defense and vouched for him to make the NBA’s All-Defensive Team.
If PJ Tucker doesn't make an All-Defensive team this year then something is Wrong!! Every writer go watch our last 2 games. ? Melo and AD!!
— Jared Dudley (@JaredDudley619) December 14, 2016
Coach Earl Watson has also praised Tucker’s defense.
“The thing about defense is there’s no perfect technique,” Watson said before facing the Knicks at Madison Square Garden a month ago. “It’s all on intensity, passion, toughness and a lot of heart. He plays with that every time he touches the court. He’s one of our best players. To me, he’s the most underrated defender in our league, especially on isolations. I think our isolation defense kind of speaks for itself because of him.”
While he may not be one of the “sexy” names on the trade market, Tucker’s hounding defense and versatility are what teams desire, and why he’ll remain in the headlines with the NBA’s trade deadline looming on February 23 at 3:00 p.m. EST.
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