Teams interested in Phoenix Suns small forward P.J. Tucker are hesitant to offer the restricted free agent because of fears Phoenix will match, according to Yahoo! Sports’ marc J. Spears. A number of teams have gone straight to considering working out a sign-and-trade deal with the Suns in order to acquire the 3-and-D specialist.
Tucker averaged 9.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season and has been expected to be receiving interest from teams that could pay him up to a mid-level exception deal. That Tucker would be receiving enough attention that teams would be fearing the Suns matching a contract says a bit about his value — at the least, his agent is putting the right messages out through the media.
“We recognize that in many ways he’s the heart and soul of our team, and beloved by his teammates and an important part of this organization,” said Suns president of basketball operations Lon Babby at the end of the season.
The 29-year-old Tucker showed great improvements in his three-point shooting in 2013-14 and was greatly helped by coach Jeff Hornacek’s offense that put him in the corners on offense and relied on his energy to defend the opponents’ best offensive threats.
Hawes off the market
A day after Cleveland Cavaliers center Spencer Hawes visited the Suns, he decided to sign a four-year, $23 million deal, reports Yahoo! Sports. That means Phoenix will certainly put more pressure on themselves to re-sign forward Channing Frye.