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Rockets, P.J. Tucker agree to 4-year, $32 million contract

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The 3-and-D forward was a target at the Trade Deadline for Houston.

NBA: Playoffs-Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

According to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports, the Rockets have agreed to terms on a four-year deal with P.J. Tucker, who played for the Suns and Raptors last season.

After the Rockets struck out on Andre Iguodala, who signed a 3-year, $48 million contract with Golden State, the Rockets took a player with very similar attributes to Iggy.

Tucker is an 11-year veteran and is returning to the state where he played college. He played four years at the University of Texas and was the 35th overall pick in the 2006 Draft. After 4 years at UT, Tucker has had several stops overseas in Israel, Ukraine, Greece, Italy, Germany and even Puerto Rico.

He returned to the NBA in 2012 in Phoenix and played there up until last season, where he was traded at the deadline to Toronto in exchange for Jared Sullinger.

He shot 35% from three last season and is one of the league’s best wing defenders. Given the Rockets interest in guys like Iguodala and Iman Shumpert, it looks like the Rockets are addressing defense this offseason, and adding Tucker as Trevor Ariza’s primary backup will add a strong defensive presence to the second unit.

At $8 million per year, this is a very favorable deal for Houston and doesn’t cost too much against the cap. At the end of the day, this deal shows the Rockets are committed to establishing a stronger defensive presence this season and it is nice to see. Houston has used their mid-level exception to sign Tucker, but if Toronto is willing to work out a Sign & Trade with Houston by trading the non-guaranteed contracts acquired earlier in the week (Shawn Long, Tim Quarterman, Ryan Kelly), then it can use its MLE elsewhere, possibly to sign Nene or a backup guard.

Sacramento and Toronto were among the teams interested in Tucker before he agreed to become a Rocket.

Welcome to Houston, P.J. Tucker!