Should the Atlanta Hawks show interest in P.J. Tucker?

Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Bob Levey-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks Mandatory Credit: Bob Levey-POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks are starting to get their players back from injury. This means that they are going to start challenging for a top-four spot in the Eastern Conference. However, even when they get all their players back, the Hawks still have a hole in their second unit.

When Clint Capela goes to the bench, their back-up big men are Onyeka Okongwu, Bruno Fernando, and Nick Knight. Sometimes the Hawks leave John Collins on the floor when Capela sits. However, all of these options have their issues which will not help the Hawks in the postseason.

Okongwu is growing both offensively and defensively but as a rookie will be matched up against some of the best players in the NBA. He is not ready yet and will not be when the playoffs come around. Knight and Fernando are also not ready to compete at the business end. Collins, while he is a sublime offensive player struggles with his defensive movement and can be exploited.

How the Atlanta Hawks would be able to utilize P.J. Tucker

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Should the Hawks manage to land the services of P.J Tucker then he would get the majority of the backup center minutes. Despite being only 6’5″, Tucker plays a lot bigger. When the Houston Rockets famously went small-ball, Tucker played starting center for a team who made it to the second round of the playoffs last season.

However, Tucker is not just a one-dimensional player. He is one of the better frontcourt players in the entire league who can shoot the ball from the corner. He has taken 72.0 percent of all his 3-point attempts from that part of the court over his career, making 38.0 percent of them.

Tucker, who has been unsatisfied with his contract situation all year, still has a couple of good years in him, despite being 36 years old. He could be a tremendous mentor for Okongwu, helping to develop his game to help the Hawks well into the future.

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If the Rockets are looking to get value back for Tucker then it depends what the asking price whether the Hawks go for him. However, if Tucker is bought out then the Hawks should aggressively pursue the veteran.