P.J. Tucker trade: Bucks acquire forward from Rockets in four-player deal that also involves picks, per report

The Houston Rockets are trading P.J. Tucker, Rodions Kurucs and Milwaukee’s 2022 first-round pick back to the Bucks in exchange for D.J. Augustin, D.J. Wilson and an unprotected 2023 first-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In addition, Houston gained the right to swap its 2021 second-round pick for Milwaukee’s 2021 first-round pick, provided the Bucks do not pick in the top nine. The Bucks are also trading forward Torrey Craig to the Phoenix Suns, according to Wojnarowski. The Rockets had previously taken Tucker out of the lineup when it became apparent that a trade was coming. Now, he has his wish. He’ll join a championship contender in the Bucks while Houston continues its move toward a rebuild. 

Tucker, now 35 years old, has previously been one of the most versatile forwards in the NBA. In fact, calling him a forward might not even be accurate. Really, he’s a small-ball center, an increasingly important sort of player to have in the postseason when the best teams tend to downsize. Tucker has filled that role brilliantly in the past. Whether or not he can still do so at his age is unclear. 

The Rockets, meanwhile, are pushing full steam ahead into their rebuild. Tucker is likely the first of several veterans to get dealt at the deadline, with rumors also surrounding Victor Oladipo and, prior to his injury, Eric Gordon. Houston has now lost 17 games in a row. The absence of Christian Wood is partially responsible, but in truth, the Rockets simply are not built to win now. They have recognized that and continue to prioritize draft capital in response. 

Tucker is one of the first major dominos to fall this deadline. Almost every contender had reportedly inquired about him at some point. He fits on virtually any winning team, and now, in a contract year, he’ll have a chance to prove his worth to the rest of the NBA during a playoff run in Milwaukee. 

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