P.J. Tucker
P.J. Tucker
35-Year-Old ForwardF
Houston Rockets
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Tucker averaged 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for Houston last season, starting all 82 games for the first time in his career. He doesn't offer much in the way of scoring or field-goal percentage primarily because 72.8 percent of his shots over the last two seasons have been threes. The good news is that his three-point shooting has been respectable, with 1.8 triples made per contest at a 37.7 rate in 2018-19. A 3-and-D frontcourt player, Tucker led the league in corner threes last season while providing solid interior defense for Houston with a career-high 2.1 combined blocks/steals per game. Tucker's point totals are not consistent, but he can heat up when his three-ball is falling, and he finished the year hitting at least three triples in 29 games. He provides a safe floor in terms of minutes, having averaged 31.0 minutes in two seasons with the Rockets, including a career-high 34.2 minutes in 2018-19. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $31.88 million contract with the Rockets in July of 2017.
Personal Bio

P.J. Tucker was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, to Anthony and Aleshi Tucker. His birth name is Anthony Leon Tucker Jr., but he was nicknamed P.J. by his father. The initials stand for "Pops Junior." Tucker has three siblings: Isiah, Quetta, and Quitta. He and his family lived in Germany for a period of time after his birth as his father served in the U.S. Army. Tucker attended William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh and was named North Carolina Player of the Year in 2002. His alma mater later retired his jersey number. He is widely regarded as the premier sneakerhead in the NBA due to his enormous collection of sneakers that are stored at multiple locations across the country. Learn more about Tucker by following him on Instagram (@pjtucker).

College/International Summary

Despite growing up in North Carolina, Tucker decided to play hoops at Texas for coach Rick Barnes. The 6-foot-5 forward started half of his games as a freshman and averaged 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds. He helped the Longhorns into the NCAA Tournament, where he averaged 7.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in three games as the Longhorns advanced to the Sweet 16. Tucker was limited to 17 games as a sophomore due to poor academics. He provided 13.7 points and 8.0 rebounds when he did play, but Texas struggled without him and did not make the Big Dance. Tucker teamed with future pros LaMarcus Aldridge and Daniel Gibson to lift the Longhorns to the regular-season Big 12 title in his junior season. He posted 16.1 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals to win Big 12 Player of the Year. Texas made it to the Elite Eight and Tucker had double-doubles in all four games. After the season, the forward put his name in for the 2006 NBA Draft. Tucker was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the 35th overall pick.

Impactful despite scoring only six points
FHouston Rockets
September 4, 2020
Tucker amassed six points (2-7 FG, 2-7 3Pt), nine rebounds, two steals and one assist in 36 minutes during Friday's 112-97 victory over the Lakers.
ANALYSIS
Tucker was at his defiant best Friday, causing the Lakers plenty of headaches with his passion and tenacity on the defensive end. While only recording two steals and zero blocks, his impact was unquestionable and certainly went a long way to helping the Rockets get the win.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

Tucker appeared in all 82 regular season games in 2018-19. He accomplished that feat for the second year in a row and third time in his career. The durable wing took the court for all 12 of Houston's playoff games as well, starting every game and logging a career-high 38.7 minutes per playoff contest. Tucker provided the Rockets with solid defense and quality three-point shooting. He averaged 7.3 points and 5.8 rebounds during the regular season. Tucker also converted 1.8 triples on 37.7 percent shooting from deep. Tucker comfortably led the NBA in corner threes attempted (277) and made (109) and was among the league leaders in corner-three percentage at 39.4. He stepped up his play substantially in the playoffs, averaging 11.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals-plus-blocks. He also drained 2.4 threes per contest at a healthy 45.6 percent rate. Tucker's strong defensive efforts helped the Rockets take Golden State to six games, but Houston was knocked out of the Western Conference Semifinals by the Warriors.

2017

The 2017-18 campaign marked P.J. Tucker's seventh NBA season and first with the Houston Rockets. He appeared in all 82 games and started 34 of those. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 6.1 points, 5.6 rebounds and one steal while shooting 39.0 percent from the field. Tucker really embraced the "Three-and-D" role by shooting 37.1 percent on three-point attempts and effectively guarding several positions on defense. He posted one 20-point performance, and it came during the team's very first game of the season. Tucker also recorded three double-doubles with two coming in December. However, it wasn't until March when his offense peaked. During that month, the University of Texas product averaged 8.3 points on 44.9 percent shooting. Tucker stepped up his play during the postseason. He raised his averages to 8.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 assists during 17 playoff contests. Tucker shot 48.1 percent from the floor, 46.7 percent on three-point attempts and started each of those 17 games.

2016

P.J. Tucker underwent a back procedure prior to the start of the 2016-17 season, but returned in time for the start of the regular season. He began the campaign with Phoenix, playing in 57 games and making 17 starts for the Suns. With Phoenix, Tucker averaged 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He scored a season-high 21 points against Denver on Nov. 27, adding eight rebounds. On Feb. 23, Tucker was traded to the Toronto Raptors -- the team that drafted him in the second round in 2006. With Toronto, Tucker played in 24 games, mostly as a reserve, and averaged 25.4 minutes per game. He posted per-game averages of 5.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.3 steals. Toronto qualified for the postseason, allowing Tucker to experience the NBA playoffs for the first time. He played an important role for the Raptors in the postseason, playing in 10 games and averaging 25.1 minutes. Overall, Tucker averaged 5.0 points, 5.7 boards and 1.1 assists in the playoffs.

2015

Tucker continued to play an important role for Phoenix during the 2015-16 season. He was the only player on the team to start all 82 regular-season contests. Tucker averaged a career-high 31.0 minutes per game, emphasizing his value to the club. He posted per-game averages of 8.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Perhaps his biggest contribution was on the defensive end of the court. Over the course of the season, he averaged 1.3 steals and cemented his reputation as one of the league's toughest defenders. On Jan. 26, he dished a career-best eight assists against Philadelphia. He scored a career-high 23 points against Minnesota on March 14, adding 12 rebounds and five assists. Tucker topped the mark less than a month later, scoring 24 points and again adding 12 rebounds and five assists in win over Houston. Those performances were among seven double-doubles Tucker registered during the season.

2014

Tucker re-signed with the Suns prior to the 2014-15 season. He played in 78 games for Phoenix, making 63 starts. His playing time remained steady at 30.6 minutes per contest. The University of Texas product posted numbers very similar to his previous campaign. That included per-game averages of 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.4 steals. He also averaged over one three-pointer per contest for the first time in his career. Tucker tallied two 20-point games during the season. Among those was a 20-point, 14-rebound effort against Miami on March 2. That performance was one of four double-doubles Tucker posted during the campaign. The defensive stopper also notched five steals on three different occasions. During a win over the Hornets on Dec. 17, Tucker swatted a career-high four blocked shots. Tucker's Suns finished at 39-43 and missed the playoffs.

2013

Tucker returned for a second season with Phoenix in 2013-14 and started all 81 games in which he played. The 6-foot-6 forward averaged 30.7 minutes per contest. That represented an increase of over six minutes per game from the previous season. He posted per-game averages of 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists. Tucker also averaged 1.4 steals per contest and his 110 total steals ranked 20th in the NBA. He showed a good touch from deep by making 0.9 three-pointers per game and shooting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc. Tucker also shot a career-best 77.7 percent from the charity stripe. The University of Texas product scored a career-high 22 points in a victory over Oklahoma City on Apr. 6, adding seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He collected 11 double-doubles during the campaign. Among those was a 16-point, 15-rebound effort in a victory over Golden State on Feb. 8 in which he also tallied four steals. Phoenix ended the season with a 48-34 record, but failed to qualify for the playoffs.

2012

After spending five seasons overseas, Tucker signed a contract to play with the Phoenix Suns in August of 2012. He was a key part of Phoenix's rotation in his first season with the club, playing in 79 games, 45 as a starter, and averaging 24.2 minutes per contest. Tucker averaged 6.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while playing hard-nosed defense. He shot 47.3 percent from the field and 74.4 percent from the charity stripe. Tucker scored a season-high 21 points against Houston on Apr. 15, adding five rebounds and two steals. He notched three double-doubles during the campaign, including a 17-point, 10-rebound effort in a win over Dallas on Apr. 10.

2011

Tucker's multi-country basketball career started in 2006 with the Toronto Raptors and has since traveled to Colorado (D-League), Israel, the Ukraine, Italy, Greece and Germany. For the 2011-12 season, Tucker played in 54 games for Bamberg. Bamberg competed in both German BBL and the EuroLeague. He started in 40 of 44 German BBL contests, averaging 16.2 points, 7.1 boards and 1.1 made three-pointers per contest. His numbers dipped a bit during EuroLeague play. Tucker started three of 10 EuroLeague contests and delivered 8.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

2010

The well-traveled P.J. Tucker spent his 2010-11 campaign in Greece and Italy. This was his fourth season overseas. For the Greek team Aris, Tucker appeared in 18 GBL games and 12 Eurocup matches. He also played in three matches for Montegranaro in Italy Liga A. His best basketball was played during the Eurocup, when Tucker generated 14.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 0.8 made threes per contest.

2009

During the 2009-10 season, Tucker split his time between the Donetsk team from the Ukraine and Bnei Hasharon of the Israel Superleague. With Donetsk, he appeared in four VTB United games, eight Ukraine Superleague matches, five EuroChallenge contests and two EuroCup matches. With Bnei Hasharon, Tucker appeared in 12 Israeli Superleague games. He delivered a strong 17.3 points and 9.0 boards per contest for Bnei Hasharon. With Donetsk, his best games were the five EuroChallenge matches, over which he averaged 23.4 points, 6.6 boards and 3.0 assists per game.

2008

Tucker signed with the Ukrainian team BC Donetsk for the 2008-09, season, competing in both the Ukraine SuperLeague and the EuroChallenge. He played in 18 games in the Ukrainian league, averaging 19.4 points and 5.8 rebounds. The squad then appeared in two EuroChallenge qualifying games, with Tucker posting 14.0 points and 6.0 boards per game in those matches.

2007

Tucker spent the 2007-08 season overseas playing for the Hapoel Holon of the Israel Super League. The forward started 26 of 28 games, averaging 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. Tucker also shot 40 percent from three-point land, a developing aspect of his game. In the process, he won the MVP award and led Holon to the league title.

2006

Drafted by the Raptors in the second round of the 2006 draft, 35th overall, Tucker appeared in 17 games during his rookie campaign. The University of Texas product showed promise in limited action at the NBA level. Though he averaged 4.9 minutes per game, Tucker offered 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds in that time -- good for a double-double (13.0 points and 10.0 rebounds) on a per-36-minute basis. Tucker also suited up 19 times for the Colorado 14ers of the D-League, delivering averages of 10.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 0.5 steals per game. At the NBA level, Tucker's biggest game came Dec. 19 against Phoenix. In just 19:30 on the court, Tucker narrowly missed his first career double-double, racking up 12 points and nine rebounds (both season highs).

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Transaction History
  • June 28, 2006
    Drafted by the Toronto Raptors in the 2nd round (35th pick) of the 2006 NBA Draft.
  • July 1, 2006
    Signed a one-year rookie contract with the Toronto Raptors.
  • August 1, 2012
    Signed a two-year contract with the Phoenix Suns.
  • July 23, 2014
    Signed a three-year contract with the Phoenix Suns.
  • February 23, 2017
    Traded by the Phoenix Suns to the Toronto Raptors for Jared Sullinger, a 2017 2nd-round draft pick and a 2018 2nd-round draft pick.
  • July 6, 2017
    Signed a four-year contract with the Houston Rockets.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2006
After inking a four-year, $31.9 million contract with the Rockets prior to the 2017-18 campaign, Tucker immediately became a reliable defender with his new team, pairing with the likes of Chris Paul, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Corey Brewer to provide the Rockets with a defensive presence that the team sorely lacked previously. That tenacious defense kept Tucker in a significant role for the entire season and even earned him 34 starts across 82 games. While his 6.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.0 steal didn't necessarily scream Fantasy upside, he did improve as a three-point shooter while playing in one of the league's fastest-paced offenses. Tucker wound up hitting a career-high 1.4 three-pointers, while also upping his efficiency from beyond the arc to 37.1 percent, which was likely due to the number of uncontested looks he received while playing alongside elite play-makers like James Harden and Chris Paul. Already an improved 3-and-D player, Tucker could transition into a full-time starter for the Rockets during the upcoming campaign. Houston lost fellow defensive players Brewer and Mbah a Moute during free agency, and also indicated that newly-acquired Carmelo Anthony could come off the bench. That would leave Tucker to start at either small forward or power forward. Still, even if Tucker does open the year with the top unit, his minutes will likely only increase by a little bit and his value is still more intriguing in reality than in Fantasy.
Tucker opened the 2016-17 campaign in his fifth year with the Suns, playing in 57 games (17 stars), while posting averages of 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals across 28.5 minutes. However, with the Suns in rebuild mode and Tucker entering the final year of his contract, they opted to trade him to a playoff contender at the trade deadline in order get some sort of value before he left in free agency. That team ended up being the Raptors, who Tucker helped out as a sixth man off the bench. Across 24 games in that role, Tucker saw his averages fall a bit to 5.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 1.3 steals over 25.4 minutes, though that wasn't all too surprising considering the upgrade in talent around him. After the Raptors got bounced in the second round of the playoffs, Tucker opted to pass on a long term extension and instead, inked a four-year, $31.9 million deal with the Rockets. He's expected to slot in as the backup small forward to Trevor Ariza, which should keep his minutes fairly similar to what he saw in Toronto. With Chris Paul and James Harden doing the bulk of the work offensively, Tucker will likely be relied upon more as a defensive presence, something the Rockets have sorely lacked in recent years. He also shot a solid 40 percent from deep in his brief stay with Toronto, marking him as another three-and-D option at forward. The Rockets like to push the floor at an uptempo pace and get shots up quickly, which could allow Tucker to see a slight increase in his overall production. That said, the boost in numbers would only be minor, so his combined 2016-17 numbers should be a solid benchmark for his expectations moving forward.
For the fourth straight season, Tucker was the Suns’ top defensive stopper on the perimeter and was one of the few players on the roster who stayed healthy, suiting up in all 82 games for the first time in his career. The 31-year-old is valued for his ability to force opponents to take tough shots and commit turnovers, attributes that aren’t insignificant given the Suns’ team-wide struggles with guarding the three-point line a season ago. Tucker’s 6.2 rebounds per game were also an impressive figure for a player listed at 6-foot-6, but beyond that, he doesn’t bring much to the table. As a complementary player, Tucker rarely makes much of an impact on the offensive end, which was reflected in his averages of 8.0 points, 2.2 assists and 0.8 three-pointers in 31.0 minutes per game. He wasn’t particularly efficient with his opportunities either, shooting 41.1 percent from the floor and 33 percent from the three-point line. It didn’t help matters that Tucker played much of the second half without the injured Eric Bledsoe or Brandon Knight to help set him up, but the return of both guards to full health won’t necessarily translate to better offensive production for Tucker. Prior to suffering a season-ending broken foot in late January, T.J. Warren was beginning to encroach on Tucker’s playing time, and the third-year forward could very well overtake Tucker for starting duties to begin the upcoming campaign. Tucker was sidelined in mid-September following back surgery and was ruled out for six-to-eight weeks, likely keeping him off the court when the season begins in late October.
Tucker has found new life in Phoenix after five years away from the NBA following his rookie season with the Raptors back in 2006. He's played at least 78 games in each of the last three seasons and has established himself as an integral part of the Suns' rotation, starting a total of 144 games since the start of the 2013-14 campaign. Morris' numbers last season were nearly identical to his 2013-14 production, as he put up 9.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in 31 minutes. While his field goal percentage took a slight leap from 43 to 44 percent, he was less efficient from the outside, converting only 35 percent of his attempts after shooting the three at a 39-percent clip two seasons ago. The Suns' roster is rather thin at the small forward spot, and Tucker currently projects as the starter. However, second-year swingman T.J. Warren showed promise last season and should step into a larger role, while rookie Devin Booker could play the three in certain situations. Regardless, even if Tucker doesn't reach the 30-minute-per-game plateau for the third straight year, his playing time doesn't figure to see a major regression.
Tucker is entering his fourth season in the NBA and his third season with the Suns. He emerged as a starter for the upstart Suns last season and averaged a career-high 9.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals in 31 minutes per game while shooting 43 percent on 7.6 shots from the field, 39 percent on 2.4 shots from three, and 78 percent on 2.5 shots from the free-throw line. As an enforcer for the Suns, Tucker is known mostly for his defense and will contribute in fantasy accordingly. He rebounds very well for his size (6.5 boards per game in 2013-14) and chipped in 1.4 steals per game last season. However, outside of those categories, Tucker is a low-end option for fantasy purposes. Even with over 30 minutes per game last season, he couldn't muster a double-digit point average and now finds himself suspended for the first three games of the season following a "super extreme" DUI arrest.
Tucker has carved out a niche as a solid tweener who does a little of just about everything. His work ethic allows him to rebound well for a player his size and guard larger players. Mainly, the veteran's expectations will be to infect the rest of the young roster with his approach.
Tucker is back in the NBA after five seasons playing internationally with stops in Puerto Rico, Greece, Israel, and Germany. If Tucker ends up playing a significant role for the Suns this year there's a good chance things have gone disastrously wrong in Phoenix.
Tucker, taken in the second round this year, has an outside chance to muscle his way into a Charles Oakley-like enforcer role in the NBA if he can improve his shooting and take full advantage of every opportunity that comes his way.
More Fantasy News
Ejected in Game 5
FHouston Rockets
August 29, 2020
Tucker was ejected during Saturday's Game 5 against the Thunder, Erik Horne of The Athletic reports.
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Double-doubles in Game 4
FHouston Rockets
August 24, 2020
Tucker finished with 11 points (4-10 FG, 3-8 3Pt), 11 rebounds and one assist in 38 minutes during Monday's 117-114 Game 4 loss to the Thunder.
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Scores 14 thanks to four treys
FHouston Rockets
August 20, 2020
Tucker turned in 14 points (5-7 FG, 4-4 3Pt), five rebounds and an assist in 30 minutes during Thursday's 111-98 Game 2 win over the Thunder.
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Strong offensive night
FHouston Rockets
August 2, 2020
Tucker finished with 11 points (4-14 FG, 3-12 3Pt), four boards, three assists, one block and one steal in 38 minutes of a 120-116 win against Milwaukee on Sunday.
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Strong defensive effort Tuesday
FHouston Rockets
March 11, 2020
Tucker posted three points (1-2 FG, 1-3 3Pt), 11 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks across 36 minutes during Tuesday's 117-111 victory over the Timberwolves.
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