Phoenix Suns SF P.J. Tucker: It would suck to be traded

Feb 4, 2016, 3:25 PM
Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker reacts to a call to referee Mark Ayotte during the second half of ...
Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker reacts to a call to referee Mark Ayotte during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in San Antonio. San Antonio won 112-79. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

PHOENIX — Four years ago the Phoenix Suns gave small forward P.J. Tucker a second chance at an NBA career.

And during the time since, Tucker has worked hard to not only prove himself worthy of such an opportunity, but also help elevate the Suns back to playoff contender status.

Tucker succeeded on the former two seasons ago.

This season, Tucker could be headed elsewhere while the Suns head towards a franchise-high sixth straight postseason absence.

Tucker’s name has popped up on the rumor mill with two weeks to go before the NBA trade deadline.

“It’s the league, man,” he said Thursday, following shootaround.  “I got one of those deals right now where it makes sense, especially for a lot of teams looking for a player like me, so it makes sense.”

Tucker is signed through the 2016-17 season, but only $1.5 million of the $5.3 million he is owed is fully guaranteed if he is not waived by June 30, 2016.

The Suns rewarded Tucker with a three-year, $16.5 million contract in 2014, coming off a season in which he started 81 games and averaged career highs in both points (9.4) and rebounds (6.5).

Though Tucker’s scoring is down from the previous two seasons, he is still giving the Suns 6.8 points and 5.7 rebounds a game plus 35.1 percent 3-point shooting all the while being asked to defend the opponent’s best player on most nights.

That along with his durability — Tucker is the lone Suns player to have appeared in all 50 games this season, including 48 starts — makes Tucker, 30, an attractive option on the trade market.

To his credit, however, Tucker is not looking to bolt from the league’s fourth-worst team.

“It would suck; I’m not going to lie,” he said of possibly being traded. “I was here when (the team) was down and we came up and now having a tough year this year, so kind of seeing it full circle and not obtain the goal of making the playoffs since I’ve been here, so that wouldn’t be at the top of my list of things that I like.

“But, it’s part of the business and you got to keep fighting through it, keep playing and being a professional.”

A 2006 second-round pick out of Texas, Tucker played only 83 minutes over 17 games as a rookie with Toronto. He then spent the next five years crisscrossing the globe, playing for teams in Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy and Ukraine before the Suns called in 2012.

As fate would have it, Toronto is one of the teams reportedly interested in acquiring Tucker.

“It is what it is,” he said.  “I always get through these times with the same kind of attitude. I’m going to be P.J. no matter what, whether I’m here or wherever. I love being in Phoenix. It’s been my longest stop of my career and hopefully it continues.”

Penguin Air

Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton #22 of the Phoenix Suns dunks against the Atlanta Hawks in the first half at State Fa...
Arizona Sports

ESPN’s Pelton: NBA Draft potentially removed RFA Deandre Ayton suitor

Analyst Kevin Pelton included Ayton's future on a list of impactful decisions this summer, noting Detroit may no longer fit after the draft.
23 hours ago
A basketball on the court during the game between the Washington Wizards and the Phoenix Suns at Ca...
Arizona Sports

Suns’ Ryan Resch becomes first openly gay basketball operations executive in NBA history

Ryan Resch, the Suns VP of basketball strategy and evaluation, became the first openly gay basketball operations executive in NBA history. 
2 days ago
Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14)...
Kevin Zimmerman

Deandre Ayton still Suns’ priority, says GM: ‘We want to keep it together’

Suns general manager James Jones said nothing has changed on the Deandre Ayton front over the past several weeks, from his seat at least.
3 days ago
General manager, James Jones of the Phoenix Suns before Game One of the Western Conference Second R...
Kellan Olson

GM James Jones clarifies ESPN article on Phoenix Suns’ draft strategy

Suns GM James Jones clarified an ESPN article that painted a detailed picture of the team's unorthodox practices in the NBA Draft.
3 days ago
NBA draft prospects pose for a photo with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, center, before the start of...
Kevin Zimmerman

NBA Draft live blog: Pistons deal for C Jalen Duren in trade-heavy night

Visit ArizonaSports.com for Phoenix Suns coverage as they stand pat without a draft pick or move into the Thursday action.
3 days ago
Tari Eason poses for photos on the red carpet during the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Paolo Banchero steals the show on 2022 NBA Draft red carpet

May all the green room invitees at the 2022 NBA Draft have as colorful of careers as they do draft-day getups.
3 days ago
Phoenix Suns SF P.J. Tucker: It would suck to be traded