The NBA trade deadline can be a hectic time for fans and media alike, but perhaps no group of people is more stressed out by it than the players themselves.
P.J. Tucker, who was traded from the Suns to the Toronto Raptors Thursday afternoon, told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM it was an emotional day for him.
Tucker’s name had come up in rumors because he is playing under an expiring contract and could be valuable for a contender. The Raptors wanted the 6-foot-6 forward because of his defensive prowess, and they are hopeful he will come up big for them in the playoffs.
Asked if it is a good move for him, Tucker said he could not ask for a better situation to go to than the Raptors, who are 33-24 and currently occupying the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
“I feel like as my personal situation, having not had the opportunity to play in the playoffs with the Suns, so for me I wanted to be a part of bringing the playoffs back to Phoenix,” he said. “But this opportunity coming about in a contract year is a good situation for me.”
Again, that Tucker was ultimately dealt is not a surprise. But apparently, the way Tucker found out sort of made it one.
How crazy can deadline day be for the players?
The 1 p.m. had actually passed and at the time, Tucker was confident a deal was not going to happen and he would remain in Phoenix.
“I was sitting in the locker room and I looked at my phone, 1 o’clock hit and I went and got in the shower,” he said. “And all the guys came and got me out of the shower.
“I thought it was over, I honestly did. Had no idea.”
It all came down to the wire and because of that, Tucker found out about the trade via a somewhat circuitous route.
He called it “kind of crazy,” noting Jared Dudley was the one who initially broke the news in the shower.
“Jared Dudley’s like the Twitter/information guy, he finds everything first,” Tucker said, with a laugh. “So you know, he ran in and told me.”
Before you think Suns management was slow to inform Tucker or dropped the ball in any way, the now former Sun made sure to note he received a phone call right away.
“As soon as I got out of the shower they called me to come up,” he said. “It was done pretty professionally, like it always is with the Suns. With my situation it’s always been very professional, done very well.”
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