The New York Knicks are looking into trading for Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.
Nothing is imminent, however there are some people within New York's front office that called Tucker a possible trade target, according to Begley.
Tucker, 31, is averaging 6.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 36 games with Phoenix this season, but Begley notes Tucker's defensive RPM (22nd among 80 qualified small forwards) as a reason why the Knicks would have interest.
With five NBA seasons under his belt, Tucker has matured into a very positive locker room presence for the Suns. His ability to defend high profile scorers and experience with Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix could make him a good fit for what the Knicks need.
However, New York might not want to part with any of the pieces it may take to acquire him. Players like Willy Hernangomez, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and Justin Holiday are all reasonably priced and have plenty of upside worth continuing to explore.
And with the inconsistencies and injuries to Joakim Noah, Kyle O'Quinn has stepped up in a major way. He brings too much to the table (and his contract isn't looking so bad these days) for the Knicks to part with him so easily.
It would make sense to move Lance Thomas in any number of deals, but it's unlikely the Suns take him back in a trade for Tucker. In an ideal world, Thomas' comfort level will continue to get back to normal and he will step up in a similar way that Tucker would for this team.