Talen Horton-Tucker has become a new cult hero for the Los Angeles Lakers. But they may have to be wary of vultures circling next offseason.
Sean Deveney of Heavy.com reported this week that multiple NBA teams are expected to pursue the 20-year-old guard in the summer. Deveney mentions the New York Knicks specifically as a team with potential interest. The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Dallas Mavericks are also listed.
Horton-Tucker was part of the Lakers’ championship team last season. He since broke out on the heels of an excellent 2020 preseason. Now Horton-Tucker is a fairly regular part of the team’s rotation. His contract expires after the season though. The Lakers cannot extend the former Iowa State star prior to that because he is on a two-year deal.
The Lakers do have an advantage though thanks to their “early Bird rights” on Horton-Tucker. The “Gilbert Arenas rule” will also allow the Lakers to offer more money than any other team. But those other teams can certainly make it more expensive for them to retain Horton-Tucker, especially those with excess cap room. In any event, the Lakers will have to figure out how Horton-Tucker fits into their long-term plans amid a changing rotation.