Houston Rockets: P.J. Tucker disappointed FIBA World Cup hopes dashed

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker has withdrawn from USA Basketball to compete in the World Cup next month. He’s disappointed about it, what’s going on?

It’s a slow time for Houston Rockets news right at the moment, considering that the team has likely made its moves to start out the season.  You know — and he’s even said — that his work is never done but it’s likely for now until the trade deadline this Winter.

Being able to trade away Chris Paul‘s albatross-like salary to acquire Russell Westbrook, while keeping the rest of the core starting lineup intact continues to be a notion that baffles my mind on how Morey was able to convince Sam Presti to get a deal done.

It was a Hail Mary move in every regard but I can’t blame Morey for doing what it takes to make this team competitive.

The starting lineup will consist of Westbrook, James Harden, Eric Gordon, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela.  I’d put that lineup against any other team in this league and it’s definitely going to be a winning combination.

I also think that signing of 36-year-old Tyson Chandler is too a shrewd move as he still has plenty left in the tank but this will, unfortunately, mean the end of Nene Hilario‘s tenure with the Houston Rockets as he opted out of his $3.8 million option, the last of a three-year pact, to become a free agent.

But anyway, Tucker will have to put his hopes of winning a gold medal on hold as he was withdrawn from the USA Basketball team that will be competing in the FIBA World Cup from Aug. 31 through Sep. 15 in China.  The games will be held at four different venues in the country that will consist of the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Dongguan and Guangzhou.

The FIBA World Cup is the qualifier for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo where the

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committee will take the top two teams in both of the Americas as well as Europe and tops from Africa, Asia, Oceania and Japan.

Tucker reportedly rolled his ankle at practice earlier this week and he made the decision to withdraw his name from the team.  At 34-years-old, he was to be the eldest member of the contingent that would be heading to Asia within the next few weeks.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle categorized that his not being on the team is a “disappointing development” as he had just spoken to him on how excited he was to be part of something regal.

Feigen also reported that he has been diagnosed with a “minor left ankle sprain” and will return to Houston from Los Angeles — where the team was practicing — to prepare for training camp.

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Although I really wanted this for Tucker, it’s best for him to come back to rehab and get ready for the season within the next couple of months.  This franchise has championship aspirations and he will be an integral part of them.  It won’t be the end of the world for P.J. and he may have a similar opportunity in the future.

Happy rehabbing P.J. — go Houston Rockets!