P.J. Tucker “Optimistic” About Receiving Extension

Forward P.J. Tucker is “optimistic” about reaching an extension agreement with the Rockets, Kelly Iko of The Athletic reports.

The upcoming campaign is the last fully guaranteed season on his four-year, $32MM contract that was signed in 2016. He’ll receive $8.35MM in 2019/20 before dropping to $7.97MM in its final year. That ’20/21 salary is also only partially guaranteed for approximately $2.57MM, per Basketball Insiders’ data.

Tucker believes something must happen sooner rather than later.

“It’s time for my extension right now, so we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I’m optimistic, we’ll see.”

Tucker, 34, played a crucial role for the Rockets in 2018/19, starting all 82 games for the club and averaging 7.3 PPG and 5.8 RPG in 34.2 MPG. He averaged 38.7 MPG in 11 playoff contests. His ability to knock down threes on offense (.377 3PT%), along with his versatility on the defensive end, makes him one of the club’s most valuable players.

Tucker was considered a safe bet to make Team USA’s World Cup roster before he withdrew due to an ankle injury suffered in practice. He expressed his desire for a contract extension earlier this summer but his latest comments point to mutual interest in getting something done.

Extending his deal by one or two seasons and guaranteeing his ’20/21 salary would be the most logical course of action. The over-38 rule would complicate an extension longer than two years.

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