Report: Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks maintain ‘healthy level of admiration’ for P.J. Tucker

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The Miami Heat reportedly may have interest in a reunion with P.J. Tucker if the Los Angeles Clippers decide to move on from the veteran forward.

Making things a bit more interesting is that that the Heat could be competing with the Milwaukee Bucks for Tucker’s services.

“The Bucks and the Heat are two Eastern Conference title contenders that A) are both playing on this Christmas and B) still maintain a healthy level of admiration, league sources say, for the Clippers’ out-of-favor P.J. Tucker,” wrote Marc Stein.

“Does that mean Milwaukee or Miami will emerge as a potential trade destinations for Tucker?

“It’s not nearly that simple.”

The Heat and Bucks are two of the primary contenders in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee this offseason acquired Damian Lillard in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers after it was thought the All-Star guard would ultimately wind up with Miami.

Tucker played for the Heat during the 2021-22 season and signed with the Philadelphia 76ers in the offseason following that campaign.

He is averaging just 1.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game in 12 appearances for the Clippers this season after being traded to Los Angeles by the 76ers earlier this season as part of the deal that included James Harden.

The 38-year-old has not appeared in a game since Nov. 27. He has played for seven different teams over the course of his 13 NBA seasons and averaged 7.6 points and 5.5 rebounds per game in 71 appearances for Miami. He started all 18 playoff games for the Heat as they advanced to the 2022 Eastern Conference Finals, which they lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games.

The Heat are looking to get back there again and could make use of Tucker’s experience. Miami is taking a 17-12 record into its Christmas night matchup against Philadelphia. Milwaukee has a 22-8 record after losing to the New York Knicks earlier Monday.

The Heat have won two in a row after losing their first game with Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo back in the lineup. They both returned Dec. 18 after Herro did not play since early November because of a sprained right ankle injury and Adebayo had to sit out seven games because of a bruised left hip.

The Heat will again play without Jimmy Butler on Monday because of a left calf strain.

Miami has used 17 different players and 13 different starters so far this season. Perhaps Tucker will someday return to the organization and become part of that mix going forward.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.