NBA fines Clippers' P.J. Tucker $75K for public trade demands

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - FEBRUARY 05:  P.J. Tucker #17 of the LA Clippers looks on from the bench against the Atlanta Hawks during the second quarter at State Farm Arena on February 05, 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers power forward P.J. Tucker is being fined $75,000 for openly asking to be traded, the NBA announced Thursday.

The league's statement cited "comments reported during the week of Feb. 5 expressing a desire to be traded to another team," as cause for the punishment.

It seems likely that the league is referring to ESPN NBA reporter Ohm Youngmisuk's report on a podcast episode of "Brian Windhorst and The Hoop Collective" that aired on Feb. 5.

"I’m not saying they’re gonna make a massive move, but they did just get Ivica Zubac back against Miami," Youngmisuk said in a discussion about the trade deadline. “And so now they have three bigs. And of course, they do have P.J. Tucker who wants to be traded, has made no secret about that. He even told me that just last week in Toronto. I think his words were ‘actively looking to get traded.'”

The NBA's penalty against the 33-year-old comes after the Clippers reportedly sent Tucker and Bones Hyland home during a road trip. The decision was made before Wednesday's 130-125 win over the Golden State Warriors to allow the two players to cool frustrations over playing time, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Tucker and Hyland are expected to rejoin the team after this weekend’s All-Star break.

Tucker was clearly frustrated when Feb. 8's deadline passed and he wasn't traded. "All this s*** is a f******g joke," he wrote on his Instagram story.

(Warning: Strong language used below.)

Tucker arrived to Los Angeles from the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the James Harden trade in October. An NBA veteran, Tucker has an $11.5 million player option for next season. He has only played in 15 games with the Clippers. He hasn't played since Nov. 27, telling The Athletic that sitting before the trade deadline was a collaborative decision.

“I didn’t just sit, it was agreed upon. Until they moved me, I would sit," Tucker said. "They didn’t do it. But [I] try to be professional, as professional as possible. But at the same time, if I don’t advocate for myself, who is? You know? But it is what it is, man.”

Tucker is averaging 1.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 15 minutes over 15 games.

P.J. Tucker headshot
P.J. Tucker
SF - LAC - #17
2023 - 2024 season

Tucker has been described in multiple media reports as unwilling to give up his player option for a buyout.

"I feel like I still got a lot to contribute to a team to be able to win, whether that's here or somewhere else," Tucker told ClutchPoints in December. "I know myself, my worth. I know what I bring. 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."