Breaking Down the PJ Tucker-Raptors Trade

Breaking Down the PJ Tucker-Raptors Trade

P.J. Tucker played 57 games for the Suns this season. Raptors players reportedly wanted the team to trade for P.J. Tucker because they felt they needed someone who can guard LeBron James.

The cost for Tucker was a pair of second-round picks and power forward Jared Sullinger, who never really got to show Toronto what he could do after signing last off-season.

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What does Tucker bring to the Raptors? He was originally drafted by the Raptors in 2006 with the 35th overall pick, but only stuck around for 17 games. In mind, body, and spirit, he is a Chuck Hayesian no-stats all-star on the perimeter, filling in gaps and playing thankless defense. He initially joined the Suns on August 1, 2012, signing as a free agent to return to the National Basketball Association (where he played as a rookie with the Raptors in 2006-07) after five seasons internationally. In a seven-game series, when teams essentially have their opponents figured out, finding new ways to throw a curveball becomes paramount.

He spent the first four years of his career with the Boston Celtics after getting selected in the first round of the draft out of Ohio State, and put up 11.1 points and 7.7 boards per game during his time with the C's. He'll join a roster that just a week ago added another defensive upgrade in Serge Ibaka.

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It's not a complicated situation for the Toronto Raptors on Trade Deadline Day.

Sullinger is in his fifth National Basketball Association season, holding career averages of 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 269 games with the Raptors and Boston Celtics.

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The Suns were probably happy to find a playoff contender that would take one of their longest-tenured players, and the Raptors have little downside in making this move. The team is firmly in win-now mode, so the 2017 and 2018 second-rounders it's giving up are expendable.

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