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Trade market for Suns forward P.J. Tucker is robust

Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) reacts to a foul called against him during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

With the NBA trade deadline just about a month away, one Phoenix Suns player is garnering a lot of interest from contending teams. Let’s call the market for soon to be free agent PJ Tucker robust.

According to my NBA sources, the Clippers, Bulls, Cavaliers, Timberwolves and Hawks all have interest in acquiring the lock-down physical defender who is in the last year of his contract at just $5.3 million.

Tucker, who is 31 years old, has never been to the playoffs and if he is traded you can expect he would want to go to a team looking to sign him to a multi-year deal. While some teams may look at Tucker as more than a rental player, there are teams that would only want him for the playoff run. Either way, Tucker’s value to a contending team is high. He is a premier defender who can defend multiple positions and also shoot the corner three-pointer. He is a high-energy player and good locker room presence, well-liked and respected by teammates. He makes players around him better.

The problem with trading for Tucker is that the Suns place a high value on him and are not going to just give him away. Phoenix is also interested in re-signing Tucker if possible, and not just because of his work with Devin Booker in practice, but because they don’t have another player like him on their roster with his defensive versatility and rebounding ability.

If a team willing to rent Tucker would be willing to give up a first-round pick or solid young player, it is likely a deal could get done. But I’m not sure the Suns have much interest in a second-round pick at this time.

It seems unlikely a team trading for Tucker would give up a first-round pick unless they believe they can re-sign him, but you never know. And Ryan McDonough has done wonders on trades for Markieff Morris and Goran Dragic, so these next few weeks will be very interesting, especially with several teams high on Tucker.

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