Rockets Notes: Tucker, Harden, Morey, Wall, Cousins

Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, after not traveling with the team for this weekend’s preseason games, is expected to join the team for Monday’s practice and could play Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon (Twitter link). Tucker, 35, had reported to camp a day late and had been limited during practices as the team ramps up his activity.

As we previously relayed, Tucker has been upset about not receiving an extension from the Rockets. In fact, Tucker’s desire to remain in Houston long-term dates back to at least June 2019, when he said he would “love” to discuss an extension. However, major turnover has taken place since then, including the departures of longtime head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey, the recent trade of Russell Westbrook, and the current uncertainty of James Harden‘s future with the franchise.

Over the past few seasons, Tucker has established himself as a core piece of Houston’s lineup. The 6’7″ Tucker shifted into a center role after Clint Capela was traded, paving the way for the Rockets’ small-ball lineup. Tucker excelled in the role as a defensive stopper for the Rockets, in addition to maintaining a near 37-percent clip shooting beyond the arc.

Check out more news and notes around the Rockets organization below:

  • Harden has begun individual workouts with the Rockets as he works toward recording six consecutive negative COVID-19 tests, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. At that point, Harden can begin practicing with the team. The Rockets superstar’s interest in being traded has become a significant talking point in recent weeks, with reports this week indicating that he has expanded his list of preferred destinations beyond the Nets.
  • While Morey’s departure from the Rockets seemed abrupt, he reportedly informed the team he would be leaving his role as GM about a month before the news became public, per Henry Abbott of TrueHoop (subscription required).
  • New acquisitions John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins looked promising during their preseason debuts as Rockets on Friday. Wall, in his first action in over two years coming off heel and Achillies injuries, recorded 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five rebounds, nine assists and two steals in the Rockets’ 125-104 win over the Bulls. As for Cousins, he saw 15 minutes of action, tallying 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. “Tonight was just great to be back in an NBA game, period,” Wall said after the game, per Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
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