Serge Ibaka was the Toronto Raptors big acquisition prior to the NBA Trade Deadline, but Masai Ujiri managed to complete one more trade just before the 3 p.m. deadline.
After showing interest in Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker for the past year, Masai Ujiri was finally able to acquire Tucker and bring him back to the Toronto Raptors. The cost wasn’t bad either. According to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Raptors will send Jared Sullinger and two second-round picks to the Suns in exchange for Tucker.
Considering the Raptors needs, and the fact that the Suns were reportedly adamant about receiving a first-round pick for Tucker, I think this deal is an absolute slam dunk for the Raptors. Sullinger and a pair of second-round picks isn’t much in the grand scheme of things, and when you think about how little Sullinger has contributed this season, it’s impressive that Ujiri was able to flip him for something.
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I know the second-round picks are what really matter for the Suns, and not Sullinger, but since those picks will more than likely be in the back half of the second-round, did the Raptors really give up much? Not really.
Tip your hat to Ujiri and Jeff Weltman for waiting the Suns out and likely getting them to lower their asking price. Leading up to the deadline, it was no secret the Suns wanted a first-rounder for Tucker, so, again, to only give up a pair of second-rounders for him is a fantastic deal for the Raptors.
Looking ahead with Tucker, Toronto now owns his Bird rights and the team can exceed the salary cap if they want to retain him this offseason. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Raptors will — they face a massive luxury tax crunch this summer — but the option is there for them.
As for the Trade Deadline as a whole, which Eastern Conference team improved more than the Raptors? The Cavs and Celtics stood pat, while the Wizards added Bojan Bogdanovic. Meanwhile, the Raptors added Ibaka and Tucker for Terrence Ross, a first-round pick, Sullinger, and a pair of second-round picks. Yea, I’d say the Raptors cleaned up at this deadline.
What do you think about the Toronto Raptors acquiring P.J. Tucker? Do you think he is the right guy for the Raptors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.