Phoenix Suns Trade P.J. Tucker to Toronto

by Cody Cunningham

The Phoenix Suns today completed a deal with the Toronto Raptors to acquire center/forward Jared Sullinger, Toronto’s second-round draft picks in 2017 and 2018, and cash considerations in exchange for forward P.J. Tucker. 

“We thank P.J. for his contributions to our franchise over the past five seasons,” said Suns General Manager Ryan McDonough. “He was well respected by his teammates as someone who pushed them every day in practice, laid his heart on the line on the court and was a leader in the locker room. P.J. was also loved by the fans here in Phoenix for his relentless approach on the court and his work in our community. We appreciate all that he did for the Suns organization and wish him the best as he joins the Raptors.”

Sullinger is in his fifth NBA season, holding career averages of 10.8 points and 7.5 rebounds in 269 games with the Raptors and Boston Celtics. In 11 games with Toronto this season, Sullinger has averaged 3.4 points and 2.5 rebounds as he underwent left foot surgery on Oct. 24, delaying his season debut until Jan. 18. Sullinger signed with Toronto this past summer after he had averaged double-digits scoring in each of the three previous seasons with the Celtics, including a career-high 13.3 points in both 2013-14 and 2014-15. The 24-year-old posted 10.3 points and a career-best 8.3 rebounds per game in a career-high 81 appearances for Boston last season.

The 21st overall pick of the 2012 NBA Draft by Boston, Sullinger was a consensus All-American in each of his two seasons at Ohio State University. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Sullinger led the Buckeyes to a Final Four berth in 2012. 

Tucker departs the Suns after averaging 8.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 steals in 377 games (286 starts) over five seasons with the team. He initially joined the Suns on Aug. 1, 2012, signing as a free agent to return to the NBA (where he played as a rookie with the Raptors in 2006-07) after five seasons internationally. The 31-year-old is averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and a career-high 1.5 steals (20th in NBA) in 57 games (17 starts) this season.

The only four-time winner of the Suns’ Majerle Hustle Award, Tucker ranks 14th in Suns history in steals (471), 18th in rebounds (2,228) and 20th in games played (377).

The Suns’ roster now stands at 15; an updated roster is attached.

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