NBA slaps Clippers’ P.J. Tucker with largest fine of season after he demanded trade


The NBA announced Los Angeles Clippers forward P.J. Tucker was fined $75,000, the highest in the NBA this season, for public trade demands. 

Tucker expressed his desire to be traded Feb. 5, which is against league policy.

The 38-year-old NBA veteran has not been happy with his playing time on a Clippers team that is loaded this season. 

He was acquired by Los Angeles in the James Harden trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, but he hasn’t played since Nov. 27 after appearing in 12 games. 

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P.J. Tucker of the LA Clippers looks on from the bench against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at State Farm Arena Feb. 5, 2024, in Atlanta.   (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

“I want to be somewhere where I’m needed, wanted and can do it all,” Tucker told Andscape’s Marc Spears prior to the NBA trade deadline. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I have my fingers crossed. And I’m hoping to go somewhere else, whether I get bought out and choose where I go or where I can play.”

The deadline was Feb. 8, and Tucker remained on the Clippers’ roster. He posted on Instagram following the deadline. 

“All this s— is a f—ing joke,” he wrote on his Instagram story. 

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Despite his clear frustration, Bleacher Report reported Tucker wouldn’t be requesting a buyout from the Clippers. The team’s front office believes he can still be helpful in the playoffs, according to The Athletic. 

This isn’t the first time Tucker has been vocal about wanting to play more. He told The Athletic he was trying to be professional “while trying to get in a better situation for me, personally.”

Tucker noted he would have conversations with Clippers coaches if he isn’t traded, saying, “I’ll just have to figure it out from there.”

P.J. Tucker walks into arena

P.J. Tucker of the LA Clippers arrives to the arena before a game against the Miami Heat Feb. 4, 2024, at Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla.  (Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

In the past, Tucker has said he believes he can still contribute to a team. 

“I know myself, my worth. I know what I bring,” he told ClutchPoints. “I know what I’ve brought. I know what I can continue to bring. And with that, I want to be able to go to a good team that I can be able to help that.” 

Tucker said he understood there was no role for him with the Clippers at that time and that “obviously [playing zero minutes is] not what I want to do right now at this stage of my career.”

Tucker has bounced around the NBA throughout his 13 years in the league. He’s most notably a 2021 NBA champion with the Milwaukee Bucks. Tucker has also spent five seasons with the Phoenix Suns and four with the Houston Rockets. He’s also played for the 76ers, Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors.

Tucker is known for his ability to shoot 3-pointers while playing strong defense. He’s a career 36.5% shooter from beyond the arc, though he averages 6.7 points per game for his career. 

P.J. Tucker shoots during warmups

PJ Tucker of the LA Clippers shoots before a game Dec. 14, 2023, at Crypto.Com Arena in Los Angeles. (Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

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Tucker has a $11.5 million player option in his contract for next season. 

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