Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said he expects P.J. Tucker to be available for Saturday’s game against San Antonio barring any last-minute setbacks.
Tucker, 35, participated in a significant part of Friday’s practice after his trade from the Houston Rockets became official earlier in the day.
“The situation is perfect,” Tucker said. “I think I fit in well.”
During practice, Tucker said he embraced Giannis Antetokounmpo, with each player telling the other how happy they were to be teammates and not have to compete against each other anymore.
According to Tucker, Milwaukee was at the top of his list for trade destinations. He “for sure” feels like he’s the missing link for the Bucks to win a title. Milwaukee has won 10 of its past 11 games.
“My main goal is to win a championship. That’s easy,” Tucker said. “That’s the only reason I’m here. I feel like we’ve got a chance to win a championship and do something special.”
The move to Milwaukee has rejuvenated Tucker.
“Man, you have no idea. It’s gave me that boost and 15 years in, you look for anything,” Tucker said. “There are days where I talk to myself or talk junk to people just so they can talk junk back and I can get myself going. This has been one of those things where now, I’m just recharging my battery.”
Tucker’s deal to Milwaukee included forward Rodions Kurucs in exchange for D.J. Augustin and D.J. Wilson. Milwaukee also announced a return of its own 2022 first-round draft pick and a Houston 2021 second-round draft pick in exchange for Milwaukee’s 2021 and 2023 first-round draft picks.
Tucker hasn’t played since March 3 as Houston rested him ahead of the March 25 trade deadline. But the Bucks are confident that he can come in and contribute immediately, especially during the postseason.
“He’s a pro. I think he’s been taking care of his body, I think he’s in a good place,” Budenholzer said. “It is a stretch that he hasn’t played, but at the same time I think to possibly get him going and start that ramp-up process is something that we think is important. It’s probably gonna happen sooner rather than later.”