1. PJ Tucker
Why, hello, old friend. Didn’t think we’d meet again so soon.
PJ Tucker is being paid $8.3 million this season and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His season numbers for Milwaukee are lacking, to say the least, and he had only a few good showings against the Nets in the playoffs. What fans will probably remember most is his “kiss” moment with Durant, and despite Tucker and Durant’s viral dog fight, Tucker would do wonders on Brooklyn. Given Brooklyn’s desperate need for another wing defender, why not cherry pick from the team that knocked them out in the first place? Tucker’s proven he can guard the best of ‘em and has that sort of head-to-the-ground grinding mentality that the Nets could use to complement their more skilled players. Now, how to get him to the city?
Tucker is the most expensive free agent on this list, and for good reason. His salary for next season will vary depending on how well he does in the rest of the playoffs, but an NBA executive claimed it could be somewhere around $8 or $9 million. The Bucks might not be willing to fork that over for a player like Tucker, and the Nets definitely don’t have the salary cap to pay him that much. But the possibility of an NBA championship coupled with playing with his good buddy KD might be enough to lure him over.
At this, Bucks fans might laugh out loud. We’re the ones who kicked you out, they’ll say. We can still win the title this year. And it’s true. This offseason, Tucker could have a ring. He could be in a position to turn down Brooklyn’s richest entreaty in search of a higher salary.
But what Tucker will lose out on is Durant’s mom. Please don’t take that out of context, but I’m sure viewers of Game 7 remember the little exchange Tucker had with Wanda after he pretty much football-tackled her son. Tucker turned and told her, “I love you.” Wanda replied without missing a beat, “I love you, too.”
You can’t make this stuff up. Tucker and Durant’s friendship is just too good to keep them apart. If Brooklyn can sign him, their partnership – and their weird player-mom triangle – could be the best love story the city has ever known.