2. Where do P.J. Tucker and Bones Hyland fit after the trade deadline?
The NBA's annual trade deadline occurred this past Thursday with rumors swirling about the possibility of the team parting ways with guard Bones Hyland and forward P.J. Tucker. However, the Clippers stood pat, making only a cash transaction with the Denver Nuggets during the day.
Many of the rumors pertained to Tucker's status with the Clippers as a potential buyout candidate. However, with an $11,539,000 player option on the table for next season, it would not have made much financial sense for Tucker to forgo the remainder of his contract in exchange for agency of the buyout market. Instead, he remained on the Clippers roster, clearly unhappy with his current situation.
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Tucker has not appeared in a game for the Clippers since November 27th, playing just under six minutes in his final appearance to this point in the season. Understandably, Tucker is unhappy with his lack of playing time and believes he could make a positive impact on a contending team like the Clippers.
Along with Tucker, Bones Hyland was mentioned in trade rumors. According to NBA Insider Chris Haynes, the Clippers' asking price for Hyland in trade discussions was two second-round picks, the same package the team sent out in exchange for Hyland last February.
Hyland was the odd man out following the trade for James Harden in November, suffering a significant reduction in playing time. In the five games prior to Harden's season debut, Hyland logged 26.2 minutes per game, including a pair of starts. Since then, the 23-year-old guard has seen just 8.6 minutes per game and has missed action entirely in 32 games.
The route to consistent playing time may unfortunately not be there for Tucker and Hyland should the team remain healthy. While that may be a good problem to have from an organizational front, it is clear that Tucker and Hyland would both love to be somewhere they are relied upon with bigger responsibilities than the Clippers provide them. Now post-trade deadline, the team will have to decide where these two players fit into the rotation going forward.