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ESPN’s Stein: Raptors mulling P.J. Tucker trade with Suns

Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) reacts to a call during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

The Toronto Raptors want to land a versatile forward before the trade deadline, and the Phoenix Suns’ P.J. Tucker is one such player they’re keeping an eye on, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein.

Stein reports that Toronto might end up deciding upon whether to give Phoenix GM Ryan McDonough what he wanted all along for one of the Suns’ core players — a first-round draft pick.

A swap of Tucker for such a pick and forward Jared Sullinger, who is also on an expiring contract just north of $5 million per year, would work.

Sullinger, who has battled injuries this year, is averaging 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 11 games this season.

The twist for the Suns is that there are other, perhaps more appealing, wings on the market that might draw the Raptors to give up a first-round pick.

The Nuggets are also hoping to land a first-rounder for their veteran. Chandler, like Tucker, can play the small forward or power forward positions. While he’s not the bigger, bullying type of defender the Suns forward is, he brings more to the offensive end and is averaging 15.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game.

tucker_shotchartTucker is averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game and has proven himself plenty handy this year in defending the likes of forwards like Carmelo Anthony and Anthony Davis.

He’s shooting 34 percent from three-point range and has proven capable of thriving in the corners. He’s also shown glimpses of a pull-up game from mid-range.

Toronto, which originally drafted Tucker with a second-round pick in 2006, showed interest in Tucker prior to last season’s trade deadline.

Several others teams have viewed Tucker as a trade target, but Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s John Gambadoro reports that three have refused giving up a first-round pick for him.


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