Bucks land PJ Tucker from Rockets for playoff push

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File-This March 1, 2021, file photo shows Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dean Wade (32) passing the ball as Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (17) reaches in to knock it away during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Houston. Tucker says a move to the championship-contending Milwaukee Bucks offers the 35-year-old veteran a breath of fresh air and a chance to turn around a personally frustrating season. Tucker practiced with his new team Friday, March 19, 2021, after the Bucks officially announced they had acquired the 6-foot-5 forward along with guard Rodions Kurucs from the Houston Rockets. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)

MILWAUKEE – P.J. Tucker says a move to the championship-contending Milwaukee Bucks offers the 35-year-old veteran a breath of fresh air and a chance to turn around a frustrating season.

Tucker practiced with his new team Friday after the Bucks officially announced they had acquired the 6-foot-5 forward along with guard Rodions Kurucs from the Houston Rockets The Bucks sent guard D.J. Augustin plus forward D.J. Wilson to Houston.

As part of the trade, the Bucks gave up their 2021 and 2023 first-round picks and got back their own 2022 first-round pick and the Rockets’ 2021 second-round selection.

“Man, I was nipping at the bit today to get in practice, to get in there just to hit bodies and talk and be with the guys,” Tucker said. “It felt great. It feels good just to have my battery recharged.”

Tucker gives the Bucks a solid defender and quality 3-point shooter - especially from the corners – as they bid for their first NBA title since 1971. Bucks general manager Jon Horst said in a statement that Tucker “checks all the boxes” with his versatility and all-around game.

“His defense is at an elite level,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Budenholzer cited “his ability to guard multiple positions, his ability to guard the best players in the league, the physicality he brings to that level of the court, the playoff experience he brings and the ability to space the court, make 3’s, play the right way, play smart with high basketball IQ.”

Tucker hasn’t played in a game since March 3 but is expected to be available Saturday when the Bucks host the San Antonio Spurs.