NBA Exec Gets Brutally Honest About Lakers’ Talen Horton-Tucker

Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

There has been a lot that has gone wrong with the Los Angeles Lakers during this NBA season. They are teetering on the edge of falling out of the NBA Play-In Tournament, which is a far cry from being the contenders many people thought that they would be.

A lot of attention has been given to Russell Westbrook and rightfully so. His acquisition was a big risk for Rob Pelinka and things haven’t panned out as they had hoped. But, he isn’t the most disappointing player this season. That designation would likely go to Talen Horton-Tucker.

Horton-Tucker came into the season with some heightened expectations. Los Angeles would not include him in trade talks at last year’s NBA Trade Deadline with the Toronto Raptors centered around Kyle Lowry. In hindsight, that was the wrong decision, as Horton-Tucker has failed to take that next step in his development this season despite an increased role.

The Iowa State product is averaging a mundane 9.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game. He is oozing with potential given his length and skill set, but he has not been able to realize it yet with the Los Angeles Lakers. Still only 21-years old, there is certainly a chance that he can turn into a very good player.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Knicks-Lakers Trade Is Focused On Derrick Rose To L.A.

Alas, that is where the problem lies when it comes to other teams evaluating him. Los Angeles tried their hardest to upgrade their roster ahead of the deadline, but with Talen Horton-Tucker being their best trade chip, there wasn’t much of a deal to be made.

An NBA executive explained the problem, from their perspective with Horton-Tucker. His contract structure is a huge obstacle to overcome.

“He may be great in four or five years, but he’s not right now,” the executive said. “If we trade for him and he blows up, he’ll just opt out and hit free agency in 2023. We’d have no control over his contract.”

That is certainly a conundrum that NBA teams do not want to get involved in. There is no security in the deal for them, as they would be parting with assets to acquire him and then have to pay him a huge contract on top of it should he blossom with his new team.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Knicks-Lakers Trade Is Focused On Derrick Rose To L.A.

From their perspective, they would be better off not trading for Horton-Tucker and seeing how things go in the next season or two. The only benefit to having him on the roster, should he blow up, is that a team would be able to go over the salary cap to re-sign him.

But, in that scenario, they would very well lose Talen Horton-Tucker for no compensation in free agency. Teams would be better off just spending cap space to sign him instead of forking over players or draft capital to have him for one season before he opts out.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: This Knicks-Lakers Trade Is Focused On Derrick Rose To L.A.

From the perspective of those teams around the league, the risk does not match the reward. The Los Angeles Lakers will certainly try and move him again this offseason to upgrade the roster, but they will likely be met with a cold market once again.

JJ Redick Rounds Out Lakers Staff With Experienced Coaches

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a quiet NBA offseason. Apart from most of their 2023-24 roster picking up their player options, the team is

Steve Ballmer Reveals He ‘Hated’ Paul George Leaving Clippers

The Los Angeles Clippers’ five-year experience is officially over. The spectacular trade for Paul George, which was among the largest of its time, had a

Bronny James Dominates ROTY Bets Despite Longshot Odds

This year’s rookie class was a tough one to judge. Without a clear-cut best NBA player available, teams went with positions of need for their