New York Knicks considering P.J. Tucker trade to upgrade defense (Report)
Mar 19, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker (17) and head coach Jeff Hornacek against the New Orleans Pelicans at US Airways Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are reportedly considering upgrading their defense with one of Jeff Hornacek’s old players, P.J. Tucker.

The New York Knicks have lost five straight games heading into Wednesday night’s matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks. During the slide, they’ve given up 113.8 points per game and allowed opponents to shot 38.8 percent from three-point range.

After a lazy effort in their brutal loss to the lowly Orlando Magic, head coach Jeff Hornacek told Ian Begley of ESPN New York that it’s up to the coaches to put the players in the right positions to succeed on defense.

“If we’re asking a certain guy to pick up at half court, we have to know, is he capable of doing that?” Hornacek said Tuesday. “We might have three guys on the team or four guys that can do that, and the rest of them might not be able to. So we’ve got to put them in those positions that they’re capable of [handling]. We’ve got to figure out how as a team, what we’re going to do that lends to everybody’s capabilities.”

Per Begley, the Knicks are considering some roster changes to find one of those capable defensive players. The rumored trade target is Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker. The 31-year-old played for Hornacek in Phoenix, so there’s a history there.

Tucker has gained a reputation as a tough defender in the league. He put on a clinic against Carmelo Anthony when they dueled back on Dec. 13. Melo finished with 13 points on 3 of 15 shooting and the Knicks lost by two.

Begley mentions Willy Hernangomez, Mindaugas Kuzminskas, and Kyle O’Quinn as pieces to be moved in a potential deal.

The Knicks will try and stop the Milwaukee Bucks and their top-10 offense Wednesday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

 

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