As per the recent NBA trade rumors, the LA Lakers have been on the hunt for a Center for some time now. The front office is targetting to land a big before the impeding NBA trade deadline, which is on March 25th. The latest player who has been linked with the 17-time NBA champions is Houston Rockets', PJ Tucker.
In this article, we will analyze if the Lakers should make a run at him.
NBA Trade Rumors: Should the LA Lakers go ahead with a move for PJ Tucker?
As per ESPN's NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the LA Lakers have signaled interest in making a move for versatile big PJ Tucker. The Houston Rockets front office has been active in the trade market lately, cutting ties with DeMarcus Cousins. According to NBA trade rumors, PJ Tucker can be the next player to part ways after a successful stint with Houston Rockets.
PJ Tucker has one year and $7.9 million remaining on his current contract and most probably would look to get an extension with the LA Lakers. The problem is his age, as the former Phoenix Suns man is 35 years old. He plays a demanding role, and an extension that guarantees big money could be a risky move to make.
Another hindrance could be the Houston Rockets demanding a player who is an integral part of the rotation. The name that immediately comes to mind is forward Kyle Kuzma, who has improved his game in recent times to become a gritty, defensive-minded role player. Frank Vogel views Kuzma as a key piece and it is highly unlikely that he will be comfortable with the LA Lakers trading him for an aging player like PJ Tucker.
Talen Horton-Tucker would also theoretically fall into that category as a young player who could get minutes now and have an upside down the road, but his contract will stand in the way of him getting traded. Plus, the LA Lakers wouldn't want to move a player with such potential.
The LA Lakers are a win-now team, but dealing high potential assets like Kuzma or spending a decent chunk of their cap on PJ Tucker seems counterproductive at this juncture of the season. The Lakers should continue to explore the market, as there is a high chance that Rob Pelinka and co. will be able to find a more cost-effective and young option before the NBA trade deadline.