Our exit interview series on the 2024 Clippers continues with little-used veteran forward PJ Tucker.

Basic Information

Height: 6’5

Weight: 245 pounds

Position: Forward

Age: 39

Years in NBA: 13

Key Stats: 1.6 points and 2.5 rebounds in 15 minutes per game across 28 games played (7 starts) on 35.6/36.7/100 shooting splits.


P.J. Tucker joined the Clippers essentially as a throw-in in the James Harden trade. Taking back Tucker and his contract were apparently a requisite for the Clippers landing Harden as one of the prices they had to pay.

While Tucker’s numbers have dwindled in recent seasons, he’s still been a viable three-point shooter from the corners as well as a decent defensive player. The year before he joined the Clippers, he shot 39.3 percent from distance with the Philadelphia 76ers.

More or less, all that was expected of Tucker was being able to spell the starters here and there, attack the glass, knock down the occasional shot, and play tough defense.


The actual reality was anything but that. Sure there were times when Tucker’s aggressiveness on the boards came in handy or his defensive chops in certain matchups proved key.

But he often complained rather loudly about his role throughout the season. He was inserted into the rotation immediately following the Harden trade, but it was evident he had lost a step or two defensively and he couldn’t consistently knock down open three-point shots which was his calling card.

Tyronn Lue had no choice but to go with other players in the rotation ahead of Tucker, much to his dismay. Tucker’s playing time fluctuated throughout the season and it reached a point where he was sent back to Los Angeles right before the All-Star break while the Clippers had a road game against the Golden State Warriors.

Tucker’s name came up in trade rumors around the deadline as the Clippers looked to find a suitable destination for him. But nothing materialized and the team wasn’t going to just buyout his contract.

Tucker’s role increased a bit towards the end of the season, and putting him in the starting lineup was Lue’s big adjustment for the elimination Game 6 of the Clippers first round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks. It did not work.

Future with Clippers

Tucker has an $11 million player option on his contract for next season which he is almost assuredly going to pick up. There’s absolutely no way he gets anything close to that on the free agent market and he has not made enough in his career for him to choose role over money.

The question then becomes, do the Clippers look to trade him? There was no market for him at the deadline largely in part due to that contract option and being on the hook for his salary for another season.

But he’ll enter the 2024-25 season as an expiring contract, so that could have some kind of value around the league. In any case, he should not be playing regular rotation minutes for the Clippers next season. If they can find a team willing to take his expiring deal, they should do so and let him become someone else’s headache.

David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz

David is in his sixth season as credentialed media at Los Angeles Clippers games and second season covering the team for 213 Hoops. He also covers the game at the college and high school levels. When his professional basketball dreams did not materialize, he turned to the next best thing, writing about it.

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