Suns sign forward Tucker to 2-year deal

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Suns have signed forward P.J. Tucker to a two-year contract.

The Suns say the team’s front office and coaching staff were impressed with Tucker’s performance in the Las Vegas Summer League, leading to the signing.

The 6-foot-6, 244-pound forward played the last five seasons internationally. Tucker was a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Raptors out of Texas in 2004, the 35th selection overall. He played in 17 games for the Raptors, averaging 1.8 points and 1.4 rebounds.

“In Las Vegas this summer P.J. impressed our entire front office and coaching staff with his approach to the game, both on and off the court,” said Suns general manager Lance Blanks.  “It was obvious to all of us that P.J.’s aggressive style of play will fit well with our organization.  We are very excited to have him as part our team going forward.”

Tucker has gained professional experience in Puerto Rico (Quebradillas), Italy (Fabi Shoes MGR), Greece (Aris), Ukraine (BC Donetsk), where he was the league’s leading scorer, Israel (Bnei Hasharon), where he was voted league Most Valuable Player, and most recently in Germany (Brose Baskets).  Tucker averaged 16.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in 44 games last season in Germany and was named MVP of the German League Finals.

Tucker was a member of the Suns’ 2012 Las Vegas Summer League squad and averaged 5.8 points and 6.2 rebounds in 21.6 minutes. Suns assistant coach Dan Majerle, who coached the Summer League team, described him as “a man after my own heart” because of how hard he plays.

Tucker played collegiatedly at the University of Texas, where he averaged 13.7 points and 8.2 rebounds in 87 games. He was the Big 12 Player of the Year in 2006, when he averaged 16.1 points and 9.5 rebounds.