P.J. Tucker was looking for the right situation in free agency and he believes he has found it with the Heat, according to Barry Jackson and Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Tucker won a ring after being traded to Milwaukee in March, but the Bucks had limited resources to offer him. He wound up signing with Miami for $15MM over two years.
“When you’re a free agent, you’re looking for a fit, coaching styles, team styles, and this (team) is exactly what I do,” Tucker said after the signing was formally announced earlier today. “Last year, I trained in Miami. So this has been a long time coming. I’m super excited.”
Tucker averaged just 3.7 PPG last season with the Rockets and Bucks, but he has a reputation as one of the league’s best defenders. He’s expected to split time at power forward with fellow new addition Markieff Morris. Tucker thinks the Heat are positioned to become contenders again in the East after being swept in the first round last season.
“We have a tough team with guys that get after it. It’s going to be fun,” he said. “You look at our roster, we’re going to be a tough, gritty team, guys that play two ways, can switch multiple positions. More than anything, I can see us being united. Guys who are like minded and play the same way. If you have a bunch of guys like that on the same team, you have special things happening.”
There’s more from Miami:
- The Heat are hoping Victor Oladipo may be cleared for full contact by November and could be ready to play in March, Jackson and Chiang state in the same story. A right knee injury limited Oladipo to four games after being acquired in a mid-season trade with Houston, and he underwent surgery on his quadriceps tendon in May. Oladipo re-signed on a one-year, minimum-salary contract that will pay him about $2.4MM.
- Miami announced all its major offseason moves on Friday and Saturday, and one roster spot still remains open for veteran big man Udonis Haslem, the authors add. The 41-year-old hasn’t decided whether he will return for another season.
- The Heat expect to have Gabe Vincent and KZ Okpala available when the Las Vegas Summer League starts on Sunday, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Both players represented Nigeria in the Summer Olympics and didn’t take part in this week’s Summer League in Sacramento.