Rockets Rumors: Tucker, Wood, Small-Ball

The Nets, Jazz, and Nuggets are among the teams that have “sniffed around” on Rockets forward P.J. Tucker, sources tell Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Tucker has been viewed as a strong potential trade candidate since Houston moved James Harden, with a number of other teams mentioned as potential suitors in recent weeks, including the Lakers, Bucks, Heat, and Timberwolves. His three-and-D skill set makes him an easy piece to plug into just about any lineup, and his $8MM expiring contract wouldn’t be hard to salary-matching in a trade.

While the Rockets won’t just give Tucker away, Iko suggests that the 35-year-old is more of a “ceiling-raiser” than a “floor-raiser,” and Houston is in need of the latter kind of player. The Rockets’ asking price for Tucker is unclear — multiple reports last month indicated that they’d be seeking three second-round picks, but a more recent report said they’d prefer to acquire a player who can contribute immediately.

Here’s more out of Houston:

  • Christian Wood has been hoping to return from his right ankle injury before the All-Star break, but the Rockets want to hold him out until the second half, according to Iko. Houston prefers to play it safe with one of its cornerstone players, hoping to reduce the risk of that ankle becoming a recurring issue for Wood, Iko explains.
  • With Wood on the shelf and DeMarcus Cousins no longer on the roster, the Rockets have been reverting to some small-ball lineups, which doesn’t thrill point guard John Wall. “Small ball, I don’t really like it to be honest, because I need a big that can roll, finish,” Wall said, per Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link). “It’s just difficult. I’m a person that likes to pass. I’m used to finding my bigs on the roll.”
  • The Rockets’ nine-game losing streak has moved them into fourth place in the NBA’s reverse standings, which will be worth watching all season long. The Thunder have the ability to swap first-round picks with the Rockets, but only if Houston’s pick doesn’t land in the top four.
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40 thoughts on “Rockets Rumors: Tucker, Wood, Small-Ball

  1. Gary G.

    I didn’t realize the Rockets pick was top 4 protected…

    I can’t see the Rockets trying to win many more games. Good for warriors fans because we need to push Timberwolves out of that top three pick area. Can’t see Minnesota winning much either so the Warriors will probably get the pic in ’22.

    • WallyWood

      Houston will win more games in the second half of the season once they get Wood back in the lineup, he has started in 8 of their 11 wins. So if he can avoid rolling his again they won’t be close to the bottom of the standings like they are now.

      • Gary G.

        Let’s hope so. No fun watching a losing team. I did that for 30 years as a warrior fan.

        Plus, I’ve said a thousand times I don’t believe in tanking. Too many times I’ve seen teams with the third pick blow it big time and a team with the 22nd pick score an NBA starter.

          • Gary G.

            Warriors to OKC is top 20 protected. It would be crazy if they don’t get the Minnie pick and then lose their own. It would be fantastic to keep their own and get too mini pic but we’ll just have to wait and see. Who gives a crap anyway it’s all about getting a free agent here and there. Young guys take forever to develop… unless they’re a star right away.

            • Dubs are actually 21st + Minnie have a 40% to keep this juicy 1st but i think they should’ve packed 2020/21 picks to get a top 10 scorer to help Curry and 2nd unit

              • Gary G.

                I think they tried to do that but were unsuccessful. Maybe because they had to attach Wiggins for salary purposes? Maybe with Wiggins playing his best ball ever as far as efficiency and stuff like that, maybe this offseason they can make it happen? But who’s available? Everything I read says Bradley Bill is NOT available so who else?

                • I had Zack Lavine also, but they should go all in next FA on DeRozan, oladipo and especially Dinwiddie

                  • Gary G.

                    Zach LaVine is a player but I really don’t like DeMar DeRozan. I don’t know if you remember Tom Chambers but he’s one of those guys that will get you 20 but can’t get you 2. 4th quarter crunch-time he’ll dribble off his foot and fall down and everyone’s going the other way.. things like that. Can’t stand DeRosen. Oladipo is pretty good but he gets hurt too much. Can’t have that.

                • Cap & Crunch

                  Man I am totally curious to what GSW’S plans were before the Klay inj

                  I 100% expected something pretty Big to go down, they have some wizards in the FO/accounting team and an owner who lights cigars with 100$ bills

                  We will never know I guess

                  • Very Barry

                    Golden State could get interesting heading into next year. Draymond is very quietly putting up Monster rebound and assist numbers EVERY night. This dude has 11 dimes and 7 rebounds against Charlotte at halftime. His rebound/assist total was 17 tonight on Bovada. Money in the bank!

              • Vince 2

                The Warriors 2nd in the 2021 draft has been hovering between 18 and 21. I keep checking it out on Poole has been lighting it up in the bubble. It looks like it will translate to the NBA. They also have guy playing in Australia right now who looks like he could be a great 2nd unit player. He was considered one the best shooters in last years draft.

    • hiflew

      Even if they lose every game from until the end of the year, there is still a 60% chance they lose the pick. I see no reason for them (or any other team) to not try and at least squeeze into a play in game. At least they could get some playoff revenue that way.

  2. bottom 4 team have a 47% chance to get a top 4 pick … (ORL DC & Kings behind) bottom 7 gets 32% to get top 4

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Tucker, Gordon both should be moved. They can get value for both of them. Time to rebuild with younger talent and picks. Gordon for Obrue makes sense to me. Gordon is a much better fit in GS. Perfect third guard with Curry n Klay. This yrs 1st rd is loaded. If I’m not a playoff team this yr. I would be trying to get as many picks as I can for this draft. You can even trade to move up.

  4. Very Barry

    This is a full blown rebuild. EVERYBODY should be moved. Christian Wood is your most valuable trade chip. Need to turn him into some type of young talent. Michael Porter Jr.? Tyler Herro? John Wall should be stretched and waived. Team should expect to be picking in the top 4 in the next two drafts. Will have a lot of cap space to ultimately work with. The whole state of Texas is a dumpster fire right now. Houston not only had no power and now no water, but has seen James Harden demand out. DeShaun Watson intent on forcing his way out. J.J. Watt got out. The Astro’s are the most hated team in American professional sports due to their sign stealing cheating. Just join the Texans in a complete rebuild while Houston and the rest of the state gets rebuilt.

    • hiflew

      Christian Wood IS some type of young talent, so what do you want them to do…trade for high school talent? You expect the Rockets owner to pay John Wall around $90 million to go play for someone else while taking a huge cap hit for the next 5 years? That’s the real stretch here. Learn more.

      • Very Barry

        Christian Wood is NOT young talent. This dude is 25. You do realize he bounced around the G-League and 10-day contracts for 3 or 4 years before he got a shot with Detroit last year. By the time this FULL-BLOWN rebuild is ready ….. this dude will be pushing being a 30 year-old. He is your best trade chip right now. Use it. Blow up the roster completely. What are you going to do …. build the team through free agency? Houston can’t keep the star athletes they got now ….. Nobody good is signing there. John Wall? Send him away. All he can do is make it possible that you don’t get a Top 4 pick. No reason to just be a little bit bad. Be all the way bad and build it back up.

        • CamFrost

          Man, I know guys can get into the NBA at 19, but how is 25 still not considered “young?” You can still get a solid 7-8 years out of a 25 year old player. Possibly even more.

          Also, the Rockets would be foolish to trade Wood. Anyone else can go.

  5. DeathbyDeathwest

    Eric Gordon is very expensive for what he gives you off the bench, and he’s very old. He’s not quite Blake Griffin, but that’s not a great contract situation.

    Rockets are definitely in full-blown rebuild mode, but I think Christian Wood will be the guy they build around rather than trade.

    I don’t think the PJ Tucker game is going to be Houston demanding, so much as Houston telling Utah and Denver what Brooklyn is offering, and refusing to trade him to Brooklyn to spite Harden, because that’s how Fertitta rolls.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      That’s a good point. I’m sure Tucker would love to go to Nets and Harden would want him. With Knicks we can get in three way to bring Dinwiddie to Knicks. Rockets can get young talent.
      Dinwiddie (11.5 mill), Tucker (8 mill). 3way all the way
      Rockets get – Knox, Payton
      Knicks get – Dinwiddie
      Nets get – Tucker, Noel
      BOOM >>>>>>> BOOM >>>>>>> BOOM

  6. Sillivan

    Can a team inactive the two best players so that they can compete for better draft picks?

  7. WSnotAstros2017

    I saw something about Eric going back to Pelicans. Tucker will be gone. Oladipo if at deadline or off season. Wall not sure what Rockets will truly do. Could he go with a better group around him. What will Martin and Porter be. Will they look at them when G league ends. But will they be part of future. Wood definitely Tate??? Nwaba??? How bout players like McLemore, House, Brown, Jones. What can Rockets do with Exum I think is hurt so can they do anything with him. With deadline or off season. Not sure of his full situation. Would love to see something good going forward. Houston sports has crashed. Sad on Texans need new ownership. I can see Watson upset with management and wanting out but he probably was duped when signed extension by OBrien. But hope have something good happen in second half.

    • Sillivan

      Is John Wall a new franchise player?
      Reporters say yes

      Is Oladipo a great second banana?

      Is Wood a tremendous front court player?

      Is Eric Gordon a great 6th man?

      Everything is great on paper.

      Reality check
      Rockets are doomed
      Honestly they will play lottery for next 7 years unless they luck into top 4 lottery picks every year

  8. Vince 2

    @Gary I hear you. The 1st Dubs game I went to was back in the ’75-’76 season. I think of how many bad choices they made. If they had never traded Robert Parish, and taken Kevin McHale with the other pick, they could easily have won a few rings in the 80’s.

    • Gary G.

      Yes you’re right. The 80s were all about big men and hopefully someone could light the fire under Parrish. Of course Larry bird was huge for the Celtics and their three championships but Warriors had great guards in the 80s.. sleepy Floyd, etc, maybe they could have done some serious damage. But we’ll never know.

    • Cap & Crunch

      Def agree, doesn’t get mentioned enough but he’s been pretty bad this year

      Could just be all the craziness in Hou this year I Suppose, and he does seem like that perfect half year kinda add-on expiring player championship teams covet

      Still cant see him netting a end of first rder really or any young player of merit. Perhaps its a multi player shuffle to enhance the benefits to Houston while they still have some tradeable assets

    • KnickerbockerAl

      Rockets had promised him a new contract. Cause all the dirty work he did. But then everything blew up in Houston at the bubble. So after their best players wanted out. There was no reason to give Tucker a new contract. That soured on him and I think made him just not care. He has given a lot to Houston since he’s been there. So I think the business side brought him down. Plus this was a last chance at a decent contract (35 yrs old). Tucker should go to contender. He can help them and probably get a 2yr deal. He’s an excellent small ball 4. Good defender

  9. Cap & Crunch

    Having watched the midget Lakers the past 2 weeks; I wouldn’t wish small ball upon my worst enemy today

    Cleaning the glass and paint protection are still huge cornerstones to winning in todays NBA

  10. macdaddy96

    10 losses in a row for the Rockets. Time to blow it up, they’re awful.

    • KnickerbockerAl

      He’s “Walladipo” now. Had to change name. Probably will have change it again soon TD is coming.

      • Wow,i think they are diferent people..him and silivan are real clown.btw congrat to ur knick.i always defend thib bcoz i love happy he did a good job at knick.just added minor change and he can made a huge leap

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