Tucker’s salary of $7.97MM will now be completely guaranteed for the 2020/21 season, with the veteran forward accepting a larger role in Houston’s rotation following the trade deadline last week. Only $2.57MM was originally guaranteed.
Tucker, who turns 35 in May, will likely serve as the Rockets’ starting center going forward as they test a new variation of small-ball. He’s taken the challenging task head-on thus far, holding his ground in the middle despite being only 6-foot-5.
Tucker was drafted 35th overall back in 2006 and has established himself as one of the league’s most physical defenders. He appeared in all 82 games during the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons for Houston, averaging 7.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and a career-high 34.9 minutes in 52 contests this year.
Houston has several of its key rotation players under contract with Tucker for next season, including James Harden ($40.8MM), Russell Westbrook ($41MM), Eric Gordon ($16.8MM) and Robert Covington ($12.1MM). The team is 6.5 games out of first place in the West at 33-19.