CBS The Toronto Raptors took another step forward on Thursday by acquiring forward P.J. Tucker from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for big man Jared Sullinger and two first-round picks, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Both Tucker and Sullinger will be free agents in the summer, but Sullinger has not been healthy enough to contribute this season.
This was my favorite move of the 2017 NBA Trade Deadline, PJ Tucker might be the best defensive player in the NBA, he has bothered everyone from James Harden to LeBron James to Anthony Davis this season. I thought that there would be a bidding war for Tucker, because all of the contenders could use a hard nosed defender on an expiring contract, however the Toronto Raptors stole P J Tucker from the Suns for the contract of the always injured Jared Sullinger and two second round picks. The Toronto Raptors used to have a gaping hole at power forward, but by adding starter Serge Ibaka and versatile reserve PJ Tucker at the trade deadline while only giving up one rotation player (Terrence Ross) they have made that weakness into a strength. I think that the aggressive deadline moves of the Toronto Raptors in recent weeks make them the second best team in the eastern conference.
P.S. If Jared Sullinger is ever going to get healthy, and contribute in the NBA, it’s going to be in Phoenix with the best medical staff in the league.
NOTE: I am getting some flak for saying this was a heist, because PJ Tucker is in the final year of his contract, I just mean that I thought the Suns would get more for him and am surprised another team like the Wizards or Clippers or Thunder or random other playoff contender could not beat this fairly low asking price to rent a very valuable defender for the stretch run and playoffs. If I was the fan of one of these teams, I would be questioning my management, about why they did not beat the Raptors best offer and acquire Tucker on the cheap.