Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Why Celtics should monitor P.J. Tucker situation in L.A.

Still searching for more production from their second unit, the Celtics may have a potential option to solidify one of their weaknesses.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Monday, that the Los Angeles Clippers' P.J. Tucker has expressed frustration with his role. After being shipped out by the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the James Harden trade, Tucker has struggled to find his footing in L.A. averaging only 1.2 points on 28.6% shooting in 14 minutes per game in 12 appearances with the team so far.

Even at 38 years old, Tucker believes he still has plenty to offer, which all but confirms his reported frustration with his current role.
"I feel like I still got a lot to contribute to a team to be able to win, whether that's here or somewhere else," Tucker said in an interview with Tomer Azarly of Clutch Points. "I know myself, my worth. I know what I bring. I know what I've brought. I know what I can continue to bring. And with that, I want to be able to go to a good team that I can be able to help that."
While Tucker isn't the same player he once was, the versatile wing still brings plenty of value. He's still a solid defender -- an "in your face" player that brings the intensity on the defensive end that teams covet. His offensive game is very limited, but his defense, experience, and leadership are all qualities contending teams could use in their rotation.

Reuniting with his former teammate Jrue Holiday and assistant coaches Charles Lee and even Sam Cassell (Philly) could spark some interest, and bringing even more championship experience to the roster would only help the Celtics. They've had their fair share of battles in the playoffs during his tenures with the Bucks and 76ers, so having him on the right side of the equation would certainly be ideal.

The Celtics should be one of the teams interested, as they're still trying to find answers to fill out their rotation. Having a player like Tucker would certainly give the team more flexibility with their lineups, especially defensively, as he's proven to be able to defend against smaller bigs and wings.

Adding a player like Tucker would definitely help improve the team's bench, however, the biggest hurdle would be how the Celtics can acquire him considering their current financial situation.

Acquiring his talents via trade would be difficult in itself ,as taking on his $11 million salary would be difficult for Boston without giving up one of their core players. The best route would be to monitor a potential buyout between the Clippers and Tucker, as his player option next season can be declined.

It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Clippers complete a buyout and waive him, so at the very least the Celtics can do is monitor the situation. They won't be able to offer much above veteran minimum, but if Tucker wants a chance to join a contender and potentially win a title, he could have Boston on his radar. 

Considering the lack of options off the Celtics bench, adding a proven veteran who already has experience of winning an NBA title can only help a team with championship aspirations. 

Ian Carrano

Photo used courtesy of Yahoo! Sports

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