Monday 24th June 2024,
The Hoop Doctors

Suns GM Ryan McDonough Made P.J. Tucker Think He Was Traded

This is kind of awesome.

P.J. Tucker of the continuously surprising Phoenix Suns was fined $5,000 by the NBA for his second flopping offense, the league announced on Wednesday. Video of his flop can be seen below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNOwlxIi2kI

Funny thing about Wednesday, though: It was also the day before the NBA’s Feb. 20 trade deadline, which paved way for a bizarre miscommunication.

When Suns general manager Ryan McDonough phoned Tucker to inform him of the fine, he was sent to voicemail, and decided not to leave a message. And, well, things sort of snowballed from there.

McDonough described the situation to Greg Esposito of Suns.com, the transcription of which was provided by ProBasketballTalk’s Brett Pollakoff:

I called P.J. and it went to voicemail. I didn’t leave a message, I was just about to text him and ask him to call me back. P.J. called me back—it was about one o’clock [Wednesday] afternoon, so we were about 24 hours before the deadline—and I noticed P.J. was a little short of breath, breathing a little heavy. Then the light went on in my head. I said ‘P.J., we’re not trading you. That’s not what this call’s about.’ Then he said ‘Thank goodness, man. I love it here. I was so nervous.’

I don’t think anybody’s ever been happier to be fined than P.J. Tucker was when I told him, ‘The good news is you’re not being traded, the bad news is that you are getting fined.’ And I think he was glad to pay the fine if he could stay here in Phoenix.

Again, this is great.

Tucker is in his second season with Suns after spending five years playing overseas. He’s having a solid year too, having started in all 53 of Phoenix’s games, posting averages of 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds on 41.9 percent shooting.

Had he actually been traded, this wouldn’t have been so awesome. But the “debacle” had a happy ending, so we can all laugh.

Seriously, laugh.

Then realize this is how stressful trade deadlines are for players, especially someone like Tucker who has only found success on the Suns. Were he actually traded, he probably would have been a throw-in, used to make the finances of any deal work, and who knows what would have happened from there.

Would he have actually played for his new team? Would he have been buried on the bench? Bought out? Thankfully, he’ll never know. Not this season.

McDonough portrays Tucker has immensely relieved, and you get the feeling this must have been weighing heavy on him, given he was super excited to have been issued a $5,000 fine instead. That’s not exactly chump change for him. Tucker is earning $884,293 this season, so five grand means more to him than it would to, say, teammate Goran Dragic.

All’s well that end’s well, though. That $5,000 is still barely half a percent of Tucker’s salary, and he wasn’t actually traded. He gets to stay in Phoenix, where he’s made himself a home.

Better still, with the deadline over and done with, Tucker can miss/take all the calls he wants for the rest of 2013-2014 knowing an unforeseen and unwanted trade won’t await him on the other end.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at Bleacherreport.com in addition to TheHoopDoctors.com.

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