Rockets forward PJ Tucker has played his final game in Houston.
The 10th-year NBA veteran has reportedly grown increasingly frustrated with the franchise’s reluctance to trade him to a title contender. On Thursday night, Tucker elected to sit out of his team’s 125-105 loss to the Sacramento Kings in protest of the front-office delay.
According to newly-hired head coach Stephen Silas, the fourth-year Rocket will not return to the team before the Mar. 25 trade deadline.
“We’re going to try to figure out something that works for him and works for us as far as him not being on the team anymore,” Silas said, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. “I was under the assumption that he was going to be playing tonight, and he didn’t play. That was disappointing, but there’s no secret that it’s been a rough year.”
With the NBA Trade Deadline inside of two weeks now — and Houston losers of 14 straight games — PJ Tucker has likely played his final game with the Rockets. https://t.co/k9vp3z4WX6
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 12, 2021
While a deal has yet to be made, the Rockets have reportedly been heavily involved in trade discussions with multiple NBA franchises. The Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets are among the potential suitors for Tucker, sources told Wojnarowski.
According to Silas, the decision to part ways was a mutual affair.
“He decided that he was just not really with it, and we decided that that’s a good idea,” Silas said. “Let’s move on.”
Midway through the final year of his four-year, $31.8 million contract with Houston, now seems like as good a time as any for the 35-year-old forward to find a new team. With Tucker entering unrestricted free agency after this season, shopping him now benefits the Rockets as well.
Currently in the midst of a brutal 14-game losing streak, the 11-24 Houston franchise look to have a massive rebuild ahead of them.
The first step — getting some value out of a PJ Tucker trade.
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