The Nets are one of a number of playoff and championship contenders with tangible interest in veteran free agent forward P.J. Tucker, multiple sources told the Daily News.
Tucker became an unrestricted free agent after declining his $7 million player option with the Miami Heat earlier this week. He is great friends – “brothers,” in his words – with Nets star Kevin Durant, and adding a player of Tucker’s ilk would provide a much-needed toughness and frontcourt floor spacing to a Nets team lacking both.
Tucker, however, would likely have to take a pay cut to join the Nets. Brooklyn only has its taxpayer mid-level exception which maxes out at a three-year deal worth about $20M. If Tucker returns to the Heat, he could command a raise on his previous salary, which was a two-year deal worth $14.4M.
Playing with his good friend, Durant, however, would be the draw in Brooklyn, as would joining a team positioned as a perennial contender knocking on the door of an NBA championship with every year they surround Durant with the requisite level of star power needed to compete for a title.
Tucker would fit in perfectly: He just turned 37 years old but is a corner three specialist who doubles as one of the grittiest, most physical perimeter defenders in all of basketball. Last season with the Heat, Tucker averaged about eight points, six rebounds and two assists on 41% shooting from three-point range. He also played a key role in supporting Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks as they not only eliminated the Nets out of the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs, but also went on to beat the Phoenix Suns in 2021 NBA Finals.
The Nets aren’t the only contender with interest in Tucker’s services. Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks are also expected to make a run at Tucker’s services, another source told The News.
The Nets are entering the most pivotal offseason in their Brooklyn history. They must come to an agreement with superstar guard Kyrie Irving on whether or not he will be a part of this team. They must also put a competitive roster around Durant, who recently signed a max contract extension through the 2025-26 season.
The interest in Tucker makes sense: Signing him would remove one of the few players in all of basketball who have had success defending him. It would also give the Nets another quality defender and corner-three specialist.
It’s unclear how much that will matter, however, if the Nets aren’t able to retain Irving this offseason.
Source: Berkshire mont
Be First to Comment