Raptors Cage

Report [updated]: Toronto Raptors interested in Suns’ forwards P.J. Tucker and Markieff Morris

 Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

According to a tweet from ESPN’s Mark Stein, the Toronto Raptors are said to have shown trade interest in Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker. Tucker is averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game this season in 50 contests with the Suns.

Tucker was drafted with the 50th pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors out of Texas University. After his first season with Toronto, Tucker went for a stint in Europe and has now found his niche as a physically intimidating defender at the three position.

If you watched the Raptors/Suns game last night it’s clear why Masai Ujiri and Dwane Casey would love to have a player like Tucker back on this roster. At this point in time the Raptors are decimated with injuries and lack of depth at the wing and power forward position. With the acquisition of Tucker, Toronto could fill both of these needs as he’s capable of playing an undersized stretch four. He’s shot 35% over the season which is in an improvement in the team’s floor spacing abilities if you put into perspective that Patrick Patterson is shooting just 32% on the season and is still provides a positive impact on the team for the most parts. Tucker’s best season from beyond the arc came two seasons ago where he shot 38.7% and started 81 games.

The Suns are apparently seeking at least a quality pick for Tucker.

If Masai Ujiri is serious about the development of his current prospects than he could potentially part ways with the New York/Denver pick. Both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks have been playing better than the bottom-dwellers most people expected them to be. At this point it’s looking like a late lottery pick – so no Jamal Murray. My best bet would be to include Anthony Bennett and the pick barring the cap flexibility to take on Tucker’s contract for a league minimum salary. However upon further research a deal for Bennett alone with a pick would be financially impossible for Toronto without giving up another asset on the roster.

Markieff Morris didn’t look to bad either…he went for 30 & 11 vs. Toronto last night.

UPDATE: Toronto Raptors also showing interest in Sun’s forward Markieff Morris

When it rains it pours. The Raptors are also apparently interested in Suns’ forward Markieff Morris – who had quite the impressive tryout last night. Acquiring Morris would cost the Raptors significantly more than it would to get Tucker.

This is a move that the Raptors have been capable of making all season, so if the Raptors pulled the trigger on a deal like this it would definitely raise some eyebrows. Morris is definitely an upgrade over any power forward on the roster right now. However would they be willing to sacrifice chemistry for the acquisition? The Raptors have been playing really well as of late but are struggling with the application of their bottom end talent. I’m not so sure Morris is the best way to address that problem.

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