It turns out that a contract extension between the Houston Rockets and veteran PJ Tucker could still happen after all.
Entering the final year of his existing contract, Tucker’s lack of expansion has been a painful topic at talks with the media at a training camp. Tucker arrived a little late, which is unusual for him, and he didn’t travel with the team on a preseason road trip to Chicago for two games.
But as of Friday, Houston Chronicle beatwriter Jonathan Feigen reports that there are “all sides of optimism” of a deal. Feigen writes:
“Maybe there’s something there,” he said.
The Rockets are likely to offer Tucker a two-year extension, which enters the final season of the four-year contract he signed with the Rockets as a free agent in 2016. The hang-up in negotiations could be above what would be a certainty in the second season of contract extension.
Discussions have been ongoing including a conversation that Rockets general manager Rafael Stone had on Friday morning with Tucker agent Andre Buck.
A gritty and versatile 6-foot-5 forward, Tucker has shown great value for the Rockets in recent years – both on and off the court. Over three seasons in Houston, Tucker has averaged 6.8 points (36.9% on 3-pointers) and 6.0 rebounds in 32.0 minutes per game. While he’s one of the oldest players in the team, he’s also the only Rocket to play in every game in both the regular season and playoffs in those years. Since 2012-13, Tucker has played in most any player’s games in the entire league.
Tucker is widely regarded as one of the NBA’s best and strongest defenders, and is also one of the top leaders in Houston’s green room.