Apr 6, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker celebrates in the closing seconds of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Thunder 122-115. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Teams slow to offer Suns free agent P.J. Tucker

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.

  • coachj

    The Hawes deal is great. It sets the market for Channing pretty low, since Hawes is younger and had a better season last year. Channing should be happy accepting less money over a 4 year term. I would guess that it will be $12-16M/4yr deal

    • Horny’s Harem

      You guys are funny. We’d be so lucky.

    • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

      Hmmmmm Frye was paid $9 million more than Hawes over the same four years.

      • coachj

        thanks Mr. Hindsight. I was simply stating what the Suns should offer him, not what some dumb-ass GM is going to give him. Orlando continues to be one of the most idiotic franchises in the NBA. I have no idea what they are doing…

        • EarlBlackJesusMonroe

          Hindsight? Most of us knew Frye would be offered a big contract. Who in his right mind thought Frye opted out to take a huge pay cut?

  • MyMets

    I love the way P.J. Plays but NBA teams won’t pay a guy like him more than $2 mil a year to play. The most I can see him getting is 2 years $4 mil total.

  • 4everis2long

    I saw some of the Orlando Summer League play today. In particular the Orlando Philly game. Oladipo looked good in his second summer. Noel was productive offensively and defensively he is just too thin today to be much of a factor on the glass. I think he only had 2 or 3 rebounds. However he had impressive steals and blocks. A. Gordon for Orlando is really raw offensively. He did have a jaw dropping block which he actually grabbed in mid air. Orlando’s new point guard, Payton also is really raw offensively.

    • DBreezy

      I didn’t see the game, just the highlights but we’ll see how Noel progresses on the glass as time wears on during next season. I said the same thing about him when I saw him on the glass when I saw him early on at Kentucky, but he really improved dramatically as the season wore on and he got used to things. He’s raw, but he seems to have a strong learning curve and motor. I’d seen some of those bank hooks before at Kentucky, but it looked like he picked up his touch on those little floating hooks and his FT improvement (for at least one game) is big.

      From the clips I saw, he still seemed to play with the speed and defensive abandon that made him special before the injury. I saw him bothering guards again on the perimeter defensively and getting some steals. That was one of the things I really liked about him before and something that seemed to get lost in the comparison with Davis from a year prior. I saw Noel really get up into people on the perimeter in a way that even the spectacular Davis didn’t, in a way I hadn’t seen anybody really do consistently at that size since a young KG. In a league with some many attacking pg’s and with so many S/R’s, that’s a big skill. Especially when the Sixers have a big PG in MCW meaning that they can switch more often and more effectively than a lot of teams. If I were Noel, I’d set simple goals. Keep up the energy and activity on D, try to get 10-14pts a game off O boards/steals/assisted looks, make 2-3 hooks/floaters, and keep up the work at the line. That would put him in the neighborhood of 20ppg as a still pretty raw player a year off a big injury.

      • 4everis2long

        DB, I think he will easily be one the top 5 players in last years draft. I suspect his rebounding will improve with experience and weight but overall I like his game a lot. I saw the Philly team play today as well and they have a point guard named Ware who will have a decent shot of making the team. Actually I think he was on the Philly roster near the end of last season.He played at Long Beach State with Enis who plays for Miami and Riley likes a lot. It is ironic two guys from a mid major school who both have a decent shot at being on a NBA roster this season.

  • 4everis2long

    Rumor has it LBJ is returning to the Cavs. I would love to have had him wear a Suns uniform next season but if the rumor is true Suns can continue to build a championship roster without him (it will just take awhile longer).

  • sunsfanatic24

    Woj is reporting that the Magic have signed Frye to a 4 year $32 million contract. Talk about an overpay! I imagine this increases the incentive to trade for Love and/or recruit a stretch 4?

  • sunsn7

    Don’t want to see Tucker leave as I appreciate his tenacity, defense, and locker room presence but if he must leave, it will be exciting to see TJ Warren get more minutes..oh, and still see a solid chance for the Suns to land Lebron and Bosh…if Lebron’s decision is purely from a basketball perspective. I’m certainly not buying the national media’s complete dismissal (see ESPN, NBATV) of the Suns as a legitimate destination for Lebron to continue his chase for championships. Sure wish Colangelo could’ve been in on the sales pitch though. Barkley could’ve offered some insight about the fantastic fan support he enjoyed while here..but we all know Barkley doesn’t want to see the Suns win a title because he failed to bring one here as he knows Lebron would win multiple championships in Phoenix.