NBA rumors: Rockets dream target, Claxton available, Clippers trade chips

  • Clippers testing market for P.J. Tucker and Bones Hyland
  • Nets expected to consider trades for Nic Claxton
  • Rockets badly want Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets
Mikal Bridges, Brooklyn Nets / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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NBA rumors: Clippers gauging market for P.J. Tucker, Bones Hyland

The Los Angeles Clippers are 31-15, the No. 3 seed in a crowded Western Conference. After clearing the initial hurdles related to the James Harden trade, no team has been more consistently dominant. Kawhi Leonard is a bonafide MVP candidate, Paul George is an All-Star, and Harden is perhaps the most underrated lead guard in the NBA. That's a wild statement about a two-time MVP, but negative sentiments rooted in off-court drama have clouded fans' perspective.

While the Clippers' roster is mostly set, Lawrence Frank and the front office are "gauging the trade market" for P.J. Tucker and Bones Hyland, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

Tucker has been a mainstay in trade rumors since shortly after his arrival in Los Angeles. Part of the Harden trade package, Tucker has two years and roughly $22.6 million left on his contract. He has been a relative non-factor in the Clippers' rotation, averaging 1.3 points and 2.9 rebounds on .316/.313/1.000 splits in 14.4 minutes.

Hyland is the more interesting name. His defensive limitations are well-documented, but there's still value in his speedy ball-handling and dynamic shot-making. Hyland is a versatile shooter with a blistering first step that allows him to exploit errant closeouts. He doesn't offer much as a passer and he's best viewed as a situational bench piece, but Hyland should probably get a shot somewhere. He's averaging 6.2 points, 0.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists on .367/.313/.833 splits in 13.2 minutes.