AUGUST 1ST: The Suns have officially signed Tucker, the team announced today (Twitter link).
JULY 24TH: Six years ago, P.J. Tucker was selected 35th overall by the Raptors, and played 17 games with Toronto before finding himself out of the NBA. At age 27, Tucker is prepared to make a comeback. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reports that the forward has agreed to a two-year, minimum-salary deal with the Suns, with a partial guarantee on the first year.
Since his time with the Raptors, Tucker has played in Israel, Ukraine, Russia, Puerto Rico, Italy, and Greece. He had been under contract to play in Russia for the coming year, but utilized an NBA out clause to sign with the Suns. The $762,195 he could earn as a second-year, minimum-salary player is less than half what he would have made overseas, but Tucker is looking forward to his second chance in the NBA, as he told Coro.
"When was in Toronto, I wasn't half the player I am now," Tucker said. "First and foremost, I'm going to help the young guys and always be a positive voice in the locker room. I look at myself as a defensive player first but I can rebound and handle the ball. I just stick my neck out and play hard. I never let anyone outwork me."
For the Suns' Summer League team in Las Vegas, Tucker averaged 5.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game. Wendell Maxey of Ridiculous Upside takes a look at the journey that sees the 27-year-old back on an NBA roster.