The LA Clippers have a P.J. Tucker problem. The veteran forward was part of the James Harden trade but has slipped out of the rotation in Los Angeles. He has not played since Nov. 27 and is unhappy with his current role (subscription required). The two sides are working on a resolution, but Tucker wants to play.
The 38-year-old is still an elite defender and can help a contender. LA wants to win, so they should be looking for a mutually beneficial trade. The Clippers could put several players on the block before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but Tucker appears most likely to be moved.
They are a bit light on assets. LA has three second-round picks and a 2030 first-round pick swap to trade for upgrades at the deadline. Who might replace P.J. Tucker? There will be plenty of options, especially if the Clippers attach some draft capital.
5. Alec Burks
The Pistons are 2-22 and have lost 21 straight games. They are in full rebuild mode and should look to trade their veterans before the deadline. Bojan Bogdanovic will draw the headlines, but Burks can help a contender on a more affordable contract. The 6’6 wing has $10.4 million expiring deal and the advanced metrics rate him highly.
Burks is comfortable starting or coming off the bench and would give Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue another versatile wing for his postseason rotation. The Clippers prefer to go small and switch everything. Burks can guard multiple positions and sink open shots.
His salary matches up perfectly with P.J. Tucker’s and the Pistons will be happy to get anything in return for Burks’ expiring contract. This may not be the flashiest deal, but it could help the LA Clippers in the playoffs as they search for floor spacing and defense.