MARCH 19: The Rockets and Bucks have officially completed their trade, per a press release.
MARCH 17: Milwaukee is making some roster adjustments ahead of a playoff push.
The Bucks are acquiring forwards P.J. Tucker and Rodions Kurucs and reacquiring their own 2022 first-round pick from the Rockets in exchange for veteran point guard D.J. Augustin, forward D.J. Wilson, the Bucks’ 2023 unprotected first-round draft pick, and the right to swap the Rockets’ 2021 second-round pick for Milwaukee’s first-round draft pick (top-nine protected), reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The deal will add Tucker to the Bucks’ frontcourt, giving the team a strong, versatile defender to match up with opposing forwards and big men in the second half and in the postseason. After three-and-a-half seasons in Houston, the 35-year-old reached an agreement with the team last week that allowed him to remain away from the Rockets while they sought a trade for him.
Tucker hasn’t contributed much on offense this season, averaging a career-low 4.4 PPG with a .314 3PT% in 32 games (30.0 MPG), but he’s still a solid defender and could be rejuvenated by a change of scenery that gets him to a contender.
The Rockets, losers of 17 straight games, clearly appear to be in asset acquisition mode now. The deal should allow them to move up at least a few spots in the 2021 draft, as they’ll swap their second-round pick for Milwaukee’s first-rounder. By reacquiring their 2022 first-round pick from Houston, the Bucks are able to surrender both their 2021 and 2023 first-rounders in this deal without violating the Stepien rule.
While the Rockets were rumored to be seeking a young impact player in exchange for Tucker, that was always considered an ambitious goal, given the forward’s recent decline. But the club will get a chance to look at a former first-rounder in Wilson before he becomes eligible for restricted free agency in the summer.
It’s not yet clear what Houston’s plan for Augustin is, but he’s the one player in the deal who is owed guaranteed money beyond this season, with a $7MM guaranteed salary for 2021/22 and a non-guaranteed $7.3MM salary in ’22/23. He could provide depth at the point guard spot for the Rockets or be rerouted to a new team at some point.
The Bucks have also reportedly agreed to send Torrey Craig to the Suns and will now have two open roster spots. They’ll go from about $442K below the hard cap to $3.5MM below, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link), so they’ll have a little more breathing room to fill out their 15-man roster via trade or on the buyout market.
Luke Adams contributed to this story. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
66 thoughts on “Rockets Trade P.J. Tucker To Bucks”
Nice! Dj augustin sucked and Wilson was a free agent next year. First round picks don’t mean **** when you are contenders also
Agreed – but just wanted to say Wilson also sucked, imo
Swap 2022 for 2023 First
My projection for 2021
Rockets move the pick from 34th to 24th pick
Trade grade from me
Reduce $7 million cap room next season to $12 million
Assume that Oladipo walks for nothing or trade away
Rockets ceiling next season 12th seed in West
It’s a bad idea to Swap 2022 First to 2023
Sweet! Seems like that could help…
L for all the “PJ Tucker is hardly worth a 2nd round pick” ppl on the internet.
Kurucs is the get here, not Tucker. He’s young and very talented.
Kurucs is not an upgrade over DJ Wilson.
The Rockets are in the middle of a 17-game losing streak, if he was that good he would be playing right now. He played a total of 25 minutes in the Rockets last 17 games, all in garbage time.
DJ Wilson is a downgrade from an open roster spot.
I liked what I saw from R.K. last year in Brooklyn inconsistent but showed potential not a bad looking skinny player
they live rent free in your head though, so its worth it
Not really haha. It just shows that a lot of ppl on the internet have no clue what the value of players are.
Take your comments back to complaining about how bad Steve Kerr is.
Houston isn’t gaining a pick, they’re trading a first rounder for another first rounder, both originally Bucks, and getting a meaningless (at most a few slots) pick exchange. Nice deal for Milwaukee.
It’s better than MANY ppl online were trying to make PJ Tucker be, value wise. That’s the point of my comment.
The Rockets get a solid backup at PG for Wall and another young PF who’s a decent 3-point shooter to develop. Good value for Houston.
Definitely. With Augustin and DJ Wilson now they’ll probably make a solid playoff push.
And if Omer Asik comes out of retirement they could be contenders.
Yup. Not sure how this is much better than a second rounder
Let’s see Houston got…2 players with no future on the team, and two meaningless pick swaps
So basically they got nothing. So maybe the ppl who said Tucker was hardly worth a 2nd were OVERestimating his worth
Well, considering the Rockets are terrible, having a contract like Augustin means nothing (wouldn’t even be surprised if he’s dealt again). They aren’t going to contend. DJ Wilson is a flier. The Rockets swapped 1sts that are both Milwaukee’s, but we KNOW they’re good this year. What if they blow it in the post season and Giannis wants to dip? Not saying it’s likely, but we’ve seen crazier. That itself is a win for Houston. Lastly, you can’t OVERestimate his value when they can literally get a 1st rounder when/if they swap their 2nd.
I don’t disagree that Houston is doing the right thing here, taking fliers and moving 1st rounders out a year, putting odds in their favor
My only argument is the odds on Giannis blowing his ACL, DJ Wilson being a rotation guy, and a late first rounder being substantially better than a second rounder are very marginal probabilities.
It’s not the wrong move but if I was high on Tucker’s value (I was neutral personally) I don’t think I would feel awesome about this return
I’m surprised the Rockets got a first rounder (one new first rounder since the 2022 and 2023 picks are being swapped). I wonder how much of a factor the Rockets picking up DJ Augustin’s contract adds in to that. Imo if this was a picks plus roster filler type of deal, I don’t think Tucker would’ve gotten a first.
They got the ability to move up 5-7 slots into the back half of round 1 this year, that’s not nearly the same value as truly gaining another 1st outright. I actually think it’s a good trade both ways.
They paid a bigger price for the rockets to take Augustin back. Hes got a 3 year 21 mill deal and has performed horribly. 2 years 14 mill or so left. For a team that needs to put people around Giannis getting rid of 7 mill next two years helps.
Im with Jt and Beg, getting that wiggle room below the cap is worth a lot to Mil ….. Taking on bad money is no biggy for Hou today …… Everybody accomplished what they want here
Hou is at the peril of the draft rest of this generation
Bucks now need a backup point guard. Go get JJ Barea!
I wonder what will end up happening with DJ
He’ll get done playing time with the Rockets who are clearly rebuilding. Unless the Rockets try to flip him and assets for Aaron Gordon
I do too, I really like him as a backup PG. He has had some big games in the playoffs. I think he gets flipped to a contender.
This comment is underappreciated.
Ha I thought he meant Wilson not Agustin. But who knows which one he was talking about. Got my as.
Nice trade for both teams. Good move from the Bucks by getting back their frp next year
I doubt highly that PJ will be the difference maker to beat Philadelphia or Brooklyn in the playoffs. Sorry Bucks fans you had your chance.
I really believe Tucker can help a ton in playoffs contention. But im not a bucks fan, so ok lol
The “right” to swap a 2nd for a 1st?
This is the problem having a GM that knows he’s gone if the team doesn’t win it all in the next few years. If trading an unprotected 1st proves to be a horrible trade, it’s his successor that will have to deal with the fall out.
The Rockets will be trading their early second round pick in this year’s draft for the Bucks first round pick 5 to 10 spots earlier.
The only reason they added the right in there is just in case Milwaukee ended up with a top 9 pick. That is almost guaranteed not to happen, but they have to do something just in case.
I thought about that, but it could still have been stated as just a “swap” – top 9 protected. Like other trades. The “right” implies a decision (election) needs to be made by team (usually because the other pick may be higher or lower). No decision here if it’s outside the protection. Or, maybe there might be – if it’s 30 vs 31, the flexibility of a 2nd rounder might be of value.
In the 30 vs 31 scenario, it might be smarter to keep the 31 pick. The 30 pick has a guaranteed 2 year deal with 2 team options. The 31 has no guarantees at all. The team would have more flexibility even if it does mean having to pay sooner in the event of a breakout player.
EDIT, I missed your last sentence until after I posted.
Rockets lost 17 games in a row
The biggest accomplishment from Sam Hinkie is 26 losses in a row (nba record)
I suggested that Kings hired Sam Hinkie 4 years ago, now Kings would (or could) have Zion and Luka.
Rockets have collected low picks and a bunch of players that just don’t fit together. And knowing the Rockets, they’ll all be playing out of position.
Don’t you-all read before posting …….
Sources: Houston is trading PJ Tucker, Rodions Kurucs and Bucks’ 2022 first-round pick back to Milwaukee for DJ Augustin, DJ Wilson and 2023 unprotected first-round pick. Houston also gets right to swap its 2021 second-round pick for Milwaukee’s FRP pick unless it falls 1-9.
PJ was walking and not even playing. It’s a good haul for Rockets. I’m surprised they outbid Sixers and Heat.
Bucks did well too. The picks are basically same. Plus a high 2nd rd pick money is not guaranteed and just as good talent as low 1st rd pick. The swap kind of works for both teams. Bucks strengthen team for playoffs. That’s what’s important here.
Rockets rebuilding like I said when they traded Harden long ago.
Basically two first round picks for washed up Tucker? Sounds like a win.
No only switching picks. And the pick Rockets are giving back to Bucks. They can switch a 2nd rd pick for. So after all that Rockets are moving up a few spots from 38 to 27. That’s it.
Not quite – they’re swapping 1sts which doesnt matter because the Bucks will most likely still be very good in 2023
And this year they can swap their 2nd for Milwaukee’s first
But again…Milwaukee’s pick is going to be late first round this year
So they’re exchanging a 2nd rd pick for a late 1st rd pick – so they received ZERO picks. One pick will be a little better (this year) and 2023 will prob be the same
TL/DR Houston got DJ Augustin and DJ Wilson for PJ Tucker
Yeah moving spaces in draft. Not picks ain’t that what I said.
Mea culpa – was replying to Monger w/ the two 1sts, note sure if it went thru that way
PJ should be happy that he’s on a playoff team.
Really average deal really…
Bucks give up Augustine and Wilson basically 2 firsts for Tucker on an expiring deal, Kurucs and a first. In other words they are the only team in the league that would give up a first for Tucker and also gave up Augustine who for a contender was a decent back up point guard.
In return Rockets get a back a first for Tucker basically when no else was offering that.
Where does Tucker even fit on that team? Gin is is at PF, Middleton is at SF so I’m guessing he’s the 6th man along with Bobby Portis??? Thought Portis had been nice this season
They could in theory move DiVincenzo to backup point guard and start tucker at the SF and move middleton to the SG. Then your bench would be DiVincenzo, Forbes, Connaughton, Kurucs and Portis
Yeah they could but that would be a big line up and potentially a weak bench unit. I thought if the Bucks were desperate to get better they would go after a SG/SF that’ll give them buckets like a Lou Williams type.
Houston didn’t get a first. They swapped Milwaukee’s 2022 first (which they owned) for Milwaukee’s 2023 first. So unless Giannis tears his ACL in late 2022, I doubt those picks are going to be much different
I think Tucker is potentially better than both Lopez and Portis as far as a down the stretch 3 and D center. He may be washed but it’s also likely he was just mailing it in in Houston post Harden
Think this is a big win for Milwaukee. Add a 4th guy to the crunch time lineup of Jrue, Middle, and Giannis
Helps Milwaukee’s defense off the bench at the 4/3, and should allow them to use a more versatile smaller lineup with Tucker and Giannis at the 4/5 spots, in stretches, if necessary…also gives them a shooter at that 4 spot for their depth, which was potentially missing…I like Torrey Craig, but he wasnt really used, and Axel Toupane potentially replaces him with similar skillset, but he doesnt take up a roster spot in his 2 way deal…now they have 2 open spots to potentially sign maybe a backup PG, and maybe a depth rim protector, although I’m not sure if those pieces are too necessary
I feel like DJ Wilson is interesting for Houston. They seem to be targeting a few guys at the same spots. Curious to see how he meshes with Tate and Kenyon Martin Jr, as it could be argued they’re all 4s, although with versatility, with shooting questions. Still Houston continues to do what I’ve talked about previously, which is somehow get a bunch of undervalued/underutilized previously interesting prospect players for very little cost, as well as obviously the extra potential asset woth the 1st round pick this year
…oh and Milwaukee is probably cool moving DJ Wilson b/c he was unlikely to get his opportunity there, mostly b/c he has some potential redundancies with Giannis, and Diakite is an interesting versatile prospect at those positions as well. They also have Nwora, who can shoot it, at those spots
Yea I def see mins with G at 5 Tuck 4
When Rotations tighten Rd 2 playoffs there cant be a minute unaccounted for the whole game- I see that lineup getting a test drive soon in preparation
Simple guy for G too get acclimated as well as you know Tucker be living in his corner
I don’t get it… and I may never get it… a guy with a career 10PER and has never been more than an 8-5 guy is worth a quality back up PG and draft picks? Seriously.. what am I missing on PJ Tucker? What? I hated hearing my Heat were even interested in him (not that Trevor Ariza made much more sense lol)
Defends multiple positions (important positions) as an undersized 4, defending up in size, and has been a very good corner 3 point shooter. He isnt a ball stopper, knows how to play, adds toughness
Also it’s an expiring deal, whereas Augustine has 2 more years left, and is an undersized guard
Would JJ Reddick make sense if he got bought out to bring in as a backup PG?
They already have Forbes and Connaughton, so they’re probably good there. I could see one of the defensive guys that are currently available being interesting for them at one of those spots, or maybe more of an offensive, more for depth purposes, shooter type, but I dont think a bigger addition is necessary
Think the Rockets are doing an excellent job clearing their roster and payroll. It will never be perfect.
Maybe we should do this by pictures.
Rockets get — Augustine, Wilson, 2023 unprotected 1st rd Bucks pick. Plus the right to
Bucks get — PJ, Kurucs, 2022 1st rd pick (Bucks pick) (their own pick previously traded to Rockets in Harden trade).
OK are we keeping up. They just swapped picks.
Then Rockets have option to swap for 2021 Bucks 1st rd pick. With their 2021 2nd rd pick. Unless it falls in top 9. Which it won’t. So Rockets will get Bucks 2021 1st rd pick (26-30) And Bucks will get Rockets 2021 2nd rd pick (35-37). OK basically switching 10 spots.
There are no picks leaving Bucks only position of pick. Only Rockets are giving back a pick to Bucks. So Rockets get something 2 younger players. Bucks get PJ and a 2nd rd pick back
Be careful of the Harden factor. Harden makes a lot of players look good. Tucker uses no energy on offence, just sits in the corner popping uncontested corner threes. Most NBA players can hit these. So can have energy to play reasonable defence at the other end. If you try to use him differently he becomes a massive liability. Can Giannis find him like Harden could. Doubt it. High risk trade for a 36 year old. Will see what happens.
Think Houston did well. Houston acquired Milwaukee’s 2023 1st round pick unprotected. Whose to say that this pick can’t turn out to be a very good 1st round pick? A lot can happen in two years. The third year of DJ Augustin’s contract is almost entirely voidable.
Addresses a need, dumps some contract obligations, lessens salary hit but it is how the top 8 play together that will decide the final outcome of the season.
Bucks got what they needed. They got more depth and another guy who plays D and rebounds. Another body to use on KD. A Defensive guy who can take some defensive pressure off of Giannis. By guarding Other teams top 4-3. He’s a solid rotation guy for Bucks going into playoffs. That’s an upgrade. Rockets get younger for a guy they didn’t want. Helps both teams. If Rockets traded OJ at end of last tr. They would of got a lot more.