Former Raptors draft pick wins NBA championship with the Bucks

P.J. Tucker #2 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker #2 of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

With the Milwaukee Bucks winning the title, former Toronto Raptors player P.J. Tucker has finally become an NBA champion.

The Milwaukee Bucks are the 2021 NBA champions, as they defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games in the NBA finals.

P.J. Tucker was drafted by the Toronto Raptors all the way back in 2006, as the Raptors selected him with the 35th overall pick that year. P.J. Tucker would only play 17 games with the Raptors throughout the 2006-07 season before he was waived to open up a spot on the roster. During those 17 games with the Raptors, P.J. played under five minutes per game, and averaged less than two points a game.

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After being waived, Tucker would not find a spot in the NBA for five years, and instead spent time playing professionally in Israel, Ukraine, Greece, Italy, and Germany. It was not until 2012 when Tucker would come back to the NBA, where he signed a deal with the Phoenix Suns. He would spend four seasons with the Suns but was unable to make the playoffs in his time there.

It was in the 2016-17 season where Tucker finally got his chance to play playoff basketball, and it just happened to be with the same team that drafted him 11 years prior. In February of 2017, it was Toronto who traded Jared Sullinger and two second-round draft picks to the Suns in exchange for P.J. Tucker.

Tucker would play 34 games with the Raptors in 2017, which included 10 in the playoffs. Tucker would average five points a game while averaging 25.1 minutes per game in those playoffs as the Raptors defeated the Bucks in the first round in six games before getting swept by Lebron and the Cavs in the second round.

Tucker moved on from the Raptors after the season, signing a four-year deal with the Houston Rockets, where he started every playoff game in the three years he was with the team. He averaged 8.9 points per game in the 2018 playoffs where the Rockets made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before losing to the Warriors in seven games.

In March of 2021, Tucker was traded from Houston to Milwaukee, and now had his best chance to capture his first championship. He only started one game in the regular season for the Bucks, but that quickly changed come playoff time, as Tucker would start 19 of the 23 games in the playoffs.

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In Game 6 of the NBA finals, Tucker would play over 36 minutes, and was a plus 13 when on the floor, as the Bucks would capture their first NBA title in 50 years, and at 36 years old, former Raptor P.J. Tucker finally got his NBA championship.