O’Connor’s Latest: Tucker, Lowry, Beal, Vucevic

The Bucks were pursuing Rockets forward P.J. Tucker in November and their interest hasn’t faded, league sources tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Tucker could help solidify a defense that has taken a step backward with the offseason losses of Wesley Matthews, Eric Bledsoe and George Hill, as well as the absence of Jrue Holiday, who has been in the NBA’s health and safety protocols since February 8. O’Connor notes that Donte DiVincenzo, Bryn Forbes and D.J. Augustin haven’t supplied the same presence on defense.

Tucker is considered to be available because of his age — he turns 36 in May — and his contract status. He will be a free agent this summer, and the Rockets’ attempts to sign him to an extension have been unsuccessful. Houston’s seven-game losing streak has the organization focused on building for the future.

However, the Rockets reportedly want a player in return, rather than more draft picks, which may be problem for Milwaukee. The Bucks gave most of their valuable assets to New Orleans in the deal for Holiday and may not have expendable young players who would be of interest to Houston. DiVincenzo is viewed around the league as their most valuable remaining trade chip, O’Connor notes.

O’Connor sheds light on a few more potential deals:

  • The Sixers, who hold the best record in the East, are hoping to make “major moves” before the March 25 trade deadline to improve their chances of winning a title. A name to watch, according to O’Connor, is Raptors guard Kyle Lowry, a Philadelphia native with an expiring contract. O’Connor states that the Sixers need a veteran guard who can create shots on the perimeter, and Lowry is likely the best option who could be considered available.
  • O’Connor confirms that the Wizards won’t make Bradley Beal available before the deadline, although the Celtics would be among the most interested teams if he were. Beal and Jayson Tatum have been friends since childhood, and the NBA’s leading scorer would give Boston a scary Big Three by teaming with Tatum and Jaylen Brown. However, O’Connor expects Beal and the Wizards to work out their future during the offseason.
  • Celtics fans may be wishing for Nikola Vucevic to solidify the team at center, but the Magic have shown no interest in trading him, executives around the league tell O’Connor. He remains the focus of the offense in Orlando and a favorite of the coaching staff.
  • O’Connor suggests Harrison Barnes could be a possibility for Boston if the Kings decide to part with him, or possibly Rockets guard Victor Oladipo if Boston is willing to give up assets despite reports that he wants to be in Miami. O’Connor believes Bulls forward Thaddeus Young is a more realistic target. The Celtics could absorb his $13.545MM salary with a portion of their traded player exception, and he would cost less in terms of assets than some of their other targets.
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48 thoughts on “O’Connor’s Latest: Tucker, Lowry, Beal, Vucevic

    • Milwaukee better pray Holiday gets healthy so they can have one decent shot at a title this season. Their cupboards are bare and if Jrue isn’t taking max money, he’s going to find greener pastures. Either way Milwaukee is screwed to get any more depth with no budget or picks with a flawed superstar, a flawed wingman for him, and possibly an aging defensive specialist whose health is already eroding at a concerning pace for his advancing years, and thus no path to build around what they have. Not to mention their marriage to coach and management that put them in all this mud. It’s not a pretty outlook I’ve said since the offseason and it’s an impending doom that is coming further into focus.

    • Ironmonger835

      They wouldn’t. They would low ball the Wizards and someone else will get him with a better offer.

    • hiflew

      I think it would be better to give up Brown to get him instead of giving up all the depth. If Beal is acquired, there won’t be enough minutes for Beal, Brown, and Tatum.

      Celtics get
      Bradley Beal

      Wizards get
      Jaylen Brown
      Aaron Nesmith or whichever young Celtic they prefer
      2021 1st round pick BOS
      2023 1st round pick BOS

      It’s definitely a risk to give up Brown, but if it wasn’t risky they would called it charitable donations instead of trades. Plus this way Boston could get by without giving up virtually their entire first round for the decade which you would have to do with a deal built around Marcus Smart or Tristan Thompson + depth.

      • I don’t like the trade at all…Jaylen is 3 years younger, and is already a better defender (who also shoots more efficiently… Not counting FT’s). You have to consider how much better Brown will be in 3 years. Kid has the drive and work ethic to get better.

        • hiflew

          Except 3 years from now is not guaranteed for anyone. All 3 years from now is hope. Brown could be great in 3 years. He could also regress and not be great in 3 years. For that matter he could get hurt as well. That’s where you come to the problem of playing for the future. Players do not always meet expectations for whatever reason.

        • Agree. Don’t give up Brown. When Brown came to the Celtics in the 2016 draft, Brown seemed to be just a great athlete and a warrior. Now in addition to obviously still being an athlete and a warrior, Brown has become a great talent. Love Bradley Beal but trading Brown should not be the way to try to trade for Beal.

      • Ironmonger835

        Steal for the Wizards. Does nothing really for the Celtics. They got a great 1-2 punch. They need some 5,6,7,8 guys to contribute.

      • Lil_D_Top_3

        I don’t agree about not enough minutes…but I do agree that it could be worth giving up Brown rather than sacrificing the depth (which is lacking to begin with). Brown is awesome and will likely only get better, but hes not helping you win now. I’d rather play for this year’s championship than the one in 3 years from now.

        I also don’t see how you get Beal without giving up something equal in return. A couple of first round picks and some guys who won’t crack the starting five for a couple years? Why would Wizards take that.

  1. Sensitive Fanboy

    Dipo could go to Miami still, but his play has to be seen first. If he doesn’t get traded this season or pick up his play considerably, I can see him signing in HOU.

    Beal to the Celtics is a long shot I think, but the media of it will get a lot of fanatic attention.

    Lowry to the Sixers in-season would crush the Raps fanatic base. Bad PR move & unlikely in my opinion.

    • mike.honcho

      Lowry’s an expiring contract, he’s still a standout leader which a good number of contenders and fringe teams are looking for ……. and the Raptors have been winning lately without him.

      Yes, anytime you trade away one of your franchise’s best player, there’ll be some inevitable blowback from the fanbase …… but this same fanbase fully trusts and embrace Ujiri’s direction as well.

      Ujiri will undoubtedly get substantial assets when he does trade away Lowry.

    • I don’t see how Lowry to the Sixers is possible without Ben Simmons going the other way. Toronto isn’t going to want to take Harris back unless they are getting a small horde of picks, and Embiid isn’t going to be heading out. Philly was said to have considered moving Simmons but for someone of Lowry’s age seems foolhardy.

      But what other path is there for Sixers to get Lowry to fit the cap? They have Green and not enough to pair with him to get it to work.

      • I give no fox

        Exactly. It’s a nonsense suggestion from the reporter. I wouldn’t even trade Harris for Lowry. Harris is having a solid season. He may not be worth his pay, but trading him does nothing since They wouldn’t have enough cap space to make a max offer to any FAs

          • hiflew

            They are currently the #5 seed in the East. Exactly why do they HAVE to rebuild? Swapping Lowry out West and picking up a big man in the process would serve them much better than a “white flag deal” to build for the future.

            How about

            Mavericks get
            Kyle Lowry
            Terence Davis

            Raptors get
            Tim Hardaway
            Dwight Powell
            Jalen Brunson
            2021 2nd round pick DAL

            It would leave Toronto competitive this year with Hardaway taking Lowry place and Powell giving them some needed size while still picking up a prospect and a pick. For Dallas it would give them a great player to pair with Luka, now and possibly in the future depending on how the fit is. Davis would be a guy desperate for change of scenery that still has some potential.

            • Sensitive Fanboy

              Trading Lowry to any eastern playoff team is absurd. Even out of season. Ujiri in all his adoration, splendor & splash should atleast be given credit for knowimg the rules before sitting down at the table.

              GM trading 101: never help a rival team, or in conference competitor during the season. And, never make them better than you. Not ever. Some clubs won’t even do it out of season. (superstition runs deep in sports)

              • C-Daddy

                I agree. If the playoffs were to start today, the Raps and 76ers would be on track to play each other in the second round. If Lowry gets traded it’ll be to a team in the west.

          • mike.honcho

            Yes, Maxey, who’s turning out to be another steal of the draft …….. Green, Scott to make the numbers work. Picks as sweeteners.

            Even if the RAPS are on track for a playoff spot, they are rebuilding on the fly – need to add some more pieces to that young core of Siakam, Anunoby, Boucher, FVV.

            An expiring Lowry is the best way to get those new pieces.

            • No point imagining trades that don’t match salaries, since you have to balance cap numbers for any deal and it’s not easy working with such a large salary as Lowry’s.

              • hiflew

                Which trade are you talking about not matching salaries? Mine matches, Hardaway + Powell is almost a perfect salary match and the two young guys offset each other.

                A deal like Lowry’s is not really that hard to match salaries with for most teams. Team like Brooklyn that have 3 max salaries, then yes it is very hard. But with most teams it is easy to put together a $30 million trade package. Whether that trade package would be desirable to the Raptors is another question entirely.

  2. Ironmonger835

    Celtics could get Oladipo for two first rounders but they are too cheap.

      • Ironmonger835

        Possibly. I think Houston might consider Langford or one of the Williams and a first but I doubt Boston does it. Too cheap with their picks.

    • Curtisrowe

      Oladipo wouldn’t move the needle. Giving up two first for him would be insane.

      • Ironmonger835

        Why would it be insane? Ainge is not good at drafting late and if they wanna win a title, adding more young guys next year is not gonna help. They can’t miss out on the next Gershon Yabusele for Oladipo? lol

    • slidepiece

      The Celtics could get BOTH Tucker and Oladipo for the two first rounders and any throw-in young.

    • mcmillankmm

      Probably better to use those two 1sts elsewhere if Oladipo is bolting for Miami in a couple months

  3. mike.honcho

    It would be huge for the SIXERS if they manage to get Lowry, who’s from Philly and a former Daryl Morey-guy.

    Though I can think of a few more other teams, who
    sure could use the toughness, leadership and theatrics of Lowry e.g. MAVS, CLIPPERS, HEAT, etc

  4. Jdog70

    Would Boston consider trading Kemba, Smart and multiple first round picks for Beal? It would take at least that much.

    What do the Sixers have (outside of Embiid, Simmons and Harris) that would be fair trade value for Lowry? The hometown connection is a nice story, but it rarely gets the results hoped for.

      • Agree. Walker will be 31 years old in May. Walker has two more years after this season making big money on a guaranteed contract, making $36 million in 2021-2022 and $37.6 million in 2022-2023. Not a good trade for the Wizards.

  5. In what universe divincenzo is not enough for 632 years old pj tucker’s expiring?

      • Walladipo and Wood

        It’s astonishing how so many casual fans undervalue PJ Tucker because all they look at is his stats which don’t tell the whole story. He is still an elite defender and one of the most durable players in the NBA who just recently missed his first game in years. He is also a great locker room presence who would make any of the other 29 teams better.

    • bdpecore

      My guess is the Rockets are asking for DiVicenzo but the Bucks keep telling them “no”.

      • El Don

        Too true, too true!
        Why oh why would anyone give a good player like DiVincenzo for an absolute bum like PJ, I mean by now Donte is already much better than PJ ever was, as simple as!

    • Agree. Why would the Bucks want to trade a good young player for 35 year old Tucker?

  6. Walladipo and Wood

    Houston can do some serious retooling by trading Tucker, Oladipo, and Cousins in the coming weeks. If they can get some younger players in return who are a better fit alongside Wood, Wall, and Gordon they could be much better in the long-term, or perhaps even this season.

  7. What could the Celtics possibly offer for Beal or Vucevic? Kemba has negative value. Smart has some value, not as the lead asset in a deal of this type. Their picks won’t be valued as prime trade assets. Still, if a trade for either Beal or Vucevic were possible, I think Vucevic would move the needle for Boston more.

  8. CamFrost

    It’s pretty nuts seeing so many comments suggesting PJ Tucker is an awful basketball player. If that’s the case, why are multiple contenders interested in him? If he was so bad, why would anyone want him? So many clowns look at aVeRaGeS and don’t understand the value in players like Tucker. So many casuals.

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