Former Playoff Rival could turn Golden State Warriors' Buyout Option

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

With one open roster spot and the non-guaranteed contract of Brazilian forward Gui Santos, the Golden State Warriors still have flexibility when it comes to potential additions later in the season.

What (if anything) the Warriors do will be dependant on their form over the next six weeks, with the franchise having struggled to a 10-13 record as we enter the second quarter of the season.

A former postseason rival could become a buyout option for the Golden State Warriors and other playoff-contending teams

As the February trade deadline edges closer, more names will arise in speculation of potential moves. Many of those players inevitably won't be traded, leaving the potential of a buyout between veterans and their current team.

One of those players could be veteran forward P.J Tucker, with the 38-year-old having failed to garner a regular role with the LA Clippers since his trade from the Philadelphia 76ers on November 1. The Athletic's Shams Charania wrote about Tucker's availability in an article earlier in the week:

"“Forward P.J. Tucker has expressed frustration about his current situation with the team, and both sides are discussing ways to resolve a role for him there or elsewhere, according to league sources.”"

Shams Charania

Golden State fans will best remember Tucker for his playoff battles against the franchise as part of his tenure with the Houston Rockets. Since then, he's been a part of the championship-winning 2021 Milwaukee Bucks, as well as the Miami Heat, 76ers and now the Clippers.

PJ Tucker, Draymond Green
Golden State Warriors v Houston Rockets - Game Seven / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

Once a reliable three-point shooter, Tucker's offense has been in decline over recent seasons. Regardless, his defensive prowess meant he started all 75 games and averaged over 25 minutes for Philadelphia last season.

He's now seen seven-straight DNP's since his first dozen games with the Clippers, leading to the likelihood of departure from the franchise. Of course, LA would prefer to find a trade for the 13-year veteran, but you have to question how much interest teams would have in Tucker's $11 million contract.

The Warriors, for example, would be extremely unlikely to give up the necessary contract/s to match salaries to acquire Tucker. Yet were he available as a buyout option, then perhaps they'd hold interest. If that perspective is held league-wide and the Clippers can't find a trade, they could foreseeably do the right thing and allow him to join another playoff contender should they not have a use for Tucker themselves.

From a playing standpoint, Tucker could form a dynamic defensive pairing with Draymond Green in the frontcourt, assuming the former Defensive Player of the Year has returned from suspension by such point. Perhaps the duo's lack of shooting would be too much to overcome -- the effectiveness would probably be determined by Green remaining above 40% from three-point range.

Tucker's 1.3 points and 2.9 rebounds in 15.9 minutes per game this season is far from enticing, but the Warriors could do worse than a proven and experienced playoff performer should he become available and they wish to utilize their 15th roster spot.