With the Los Angeles Lakers losing one homegrown guard this offseason in Alex Caruso, it was very important that they figure out a way to keep Talen Horton-Tucker. The 20-year-old guard showed some amazing flashes last season and is one of the most intriguing young players in the NBA. He likely received a lot of interest around the league but he’s decided to stay put.
Horton-Tucker has signed a three-year deal worth $32 million, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Just a month ago, an executive told Bleacher Report that the Lakers should offer Horton-Tucker an $80+ million contract. Luckily, they didn’t have to go that far and they should be thrilled with this deal. For a team that added a lot of age this offseason, it was important to keep a young piece like Horton-Tucker. The jury is still out regarding whether or not the guard is a star but the Lakers are clearly very high on him. He’ll have to fight for minutes this season but it’s hard to imagine head coach Frank Vogel doesn’t have him in the rotation.
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Horton-Tucker Could End up Being Valuable Trade Piece
When the Lakers extended Kyle Kuzma prior to last season, he wasn’t tradeable due to the “poison pill” provision in his contract. Fortunately for Los Angeles, that won’t be the case with Horton-Tucker this season. They will have the option to trade him if they’d like to.
That said, it’s highly unlikely that any intention of moving on from him. Just last season, the Lakers could’ve traded for All-Star guard Kyle Lowry but the deal fell through because they didn’t want to send Horton-Tucker to Toronto. They believe he can be a star in the future, which is important for a team that doesn’t appear to have future plans once LeBron James starts to decline. Horton-Tucker and Anthony Davis could lead the next wave for the Lakers when LeBron retires.
Kendrick Nunn Heading to Los Angeles
The Lakers have been good for at least one free agent stunner over the last couple of years. Last year, nobody saw them signing Montrezl Harrell. This year, the stunner belongs to Kendrick Nunn, who is signing a two-year deal worth $10 million, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
This isn’t a move that anybody saw this coming this offseason. The 26-year-old guard has carved out a couple of strong seasons with the Miami Heat and was expected to get a solid payday this offseason. In fact, Wojnarowski reported that Nunn had a much bigger offer from the New York Knicks but wanted to compete for a title in Los Angeles.
Nunn will have a player option at the end of the season so he can jump back into free agency if he has a strong year. The Lakers’ roster was looking a bit old after Monday but they’ve added some solid youth on Tuesday between Malik Monk, Horton-Tucker and Nunn. The team’s roster is looking strong and ready for another deep playoff run.