Tucker came out of nowhere. He was floundering (or thriving depending on how you look at it) in various European leagues, but came into last season with the Suns and found his place. Tucker previously was an MVP and scoring champion overseas where the competition is less talented.
At first he was playing behind Michael Beasley at small forward, but that was short-lived. The inconsistency of Beasley contrasted to Tucker’s relentless hustle reversed the roles. Tucker, out of the league six months ago, was starting for an NBA team, while Beasley’s minutes were severely slashed.
Tucker didn’t have outstanding numbers, mostly because he wasn’t the focal point of the offense with most of his points coming off put backs and in transition.
- Best-Case Scenario: Tucker is able to not just be the hustle/lockdown defense player and becomes the somewhat long-term solution for the Suns at the starting small forward position.
- Worst-Case Scenario: Tucker gets complacent and Marcus Morris outplays him for the starting spot. Then, since Tucker’s contract is so small (relatively) Phoenix cuts him.
- What will probably happen: Tucker will play fine this season, and most likely will increase his numbers, but once the Suns have some great draft picks next year, he will be traded or waived without a thought.
- Possible Statistical Averages: PPG: 6.0 (-0.4), APG: 1.0 (-0.4), RPG: 5.0 (+0.6)
While Tucker is a great hustle player with enormous amounts of physical and mental toughness, he is not in the Suns future since he is already 28-years-old. He also lacks that offensive spark that can sometimes keep a player on a roster for the long hall.