While Rockets weigh trades, P.J. Tucker reportedly would prefer contract extension

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The Houston Rockets are looking to shake up their roster, and P.J. Tucker is a guy drawing a lot of attention from other teams. He’s a physical defender who can guard fours, can shoot the three (37.7 percent last season), and plays a high IQ game. Plus, he’s on a very reasonable and declining contract (two years, $16.5 million total left). While his age (34) raises some eyebrows, a lot of teams could use a veteran like him, which is why the Rockets are fielding inquiries.

Tucker, however, would prefer a contract extension to stay where he is now.

That’s what Kelly Iko of The Athletic reports.

As for Tucker, he’d love to have extension talks take place this summer, two people close to Tucker have stated. From what The Athletic understands, both sides have discussed his long-term future. Houston is enamored with Tucker, wants him to retire here and has even discussed a role for him within the team when his playing days are up….

For Tucker, both sides know that his four-year, $32 million deal was a bargain, especially given the climate of the market back in 2016. Players who earned twice as much aren’t having nearly the impact he does, and for a contender nonetheless. Tucker is the heart and soul of the Rockets, and his value is earning league-wide recognition, as he finished just one point shy of second-team All-Defense. Any potential extension for Tucker would happen in the new league year — after July 6.

That extension could be kicked down the road until next summer as well, which makes some sense considering the Rockets are looking at a roster shakeup and have a coach on the last year of his contract. Changes are coming in Houston.

Even if Tucker is not part of those changes, the Rockets may want to let things shake out a little before rewarding a player the fan base — and coaching staff, and teammates — adores.