Great article linked below from the Wall Street Journal on “the most revealing move of the NBA summer.” The author does a great job explaining why there is no better representation of the evolution the NBA has undergone than P.J. Tucker who the Raptors just signed to a $32 million contract. Once told he had no future in the league because of his tweener status, Tucker has blossomed as a “Smallball 4” with defensive versality and newly-found range out to 3. This is a great article for coaches to better understand the ecosystem of the NBA game and to pass along to your role players (great quotes in here from Rockets GM Daryl Morey).
It was harder to imagine Tucker as an outside shooter. He didn’t take any threes in his first NBA stint. He attempted a total of four in his three years of college. But he knew he couldn’t play if he couldn’t shoot . NBA teams didn’t need Tucker to score. They needed him to create space for therest of the offense. He could help a team simply by standing in the corner and taking selfies with fans as long as he dragged adefender with him. By his last season in Germany, Tucker was hitting 48% of his threes. He was ready to come back to the NBA at the exact moment the league was ready to embrace him.