With free agency ahead, P.J. Tucker is hopeful the Phoenix Suns bring him back following a career year in the NBA.
While on the Burns & Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday, Tucker talked about how well the Suns organization and fans have treated him, and he shared some of his plans in free agency.
“I love Phoenix, and I hope to be back in Phoenix,” he said. “Phoenix has been my home the last two years, and it’s been awesome. I love everybody in the organization — top to bottom. (The) front office has been great, and they’ve shown me so much love. So, it’s always near and dear. But it’s a business and different things can happen, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple weeks.”
After being drafted 35th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors, Tucker spent several years outside of the NBA following his rookie season due to maturity issues.
“It’s been a long, grueling journey, but it’s fulfilling,” said Tucker on his absence from the NBA. “I was so resentful in Toronto because I wasn’t playing much. I was throwing fits. I was so young-minded. I didn’t get the big picture or that it’s a business.”
Upon his return to the league after a five-year absence, the Suns gave Tucker a chance and that favor paid dividends as Tucker started in 81 of 81 games at the small forward position this following season, averaging a career-high in minutes (30.7), points, (9.4), three-point shooting (38 percent), rebounding, assists, steals, and PER. Along with offense, Tucker proved to be a capable defender against wings and power forwards.
While the Suns hold the keys to a future relationship between the two parties thanks to restricted free agency, the upcoming draft may be the deciding factor on Tucker’s chances to return to the franchise as the Suns hold three first-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.