Lakers Free Agent Rumors: Talen Horton-Tucker Drawing Early Interest
Talen Horton-Tucker, Kawhi Leonard
Kyusung Gong-AP Photo

As Talen Horton-Tucker continues to have a breakout sophomore season, there has been growing interest around the league to pursue the young talent. Horton-Tucker’s two-year rookie contract with the Los Angeles Lakers expires this summer.

After receiving some minutes during the Lakers’ title run, Horton-Tucker was a standout performer during the preseason as the team took a cautious approach with their veterans because of the shortened offseason.

Horton-Tucker rode some of that momentum into the regular season, and despite a recent stretch of not appearing in multiple games, was right back in the swing of things against the Chicago Bulls.

That impressive play has multiple teams around the league already interested in prying him away from the NBA champions. According to Sean Deveney of Heavy.com, the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks are among those who may look to sign Horton-Tucker:

League sources told Heavy.com Horton-Tucker can expect “multiple teams” to have an interest in pursuing him this summer. That would put pressure on the Lakers to match some offers that could, potentially, be very hefty. The Knicks, Cavaliers and Mavericks were listed as teams with potential interest.

If Horton-Tucker continues his impressive play, it can be presumed more teams will have interest come the start of free agency. That could place pressure on the Lakers to match offers that potentially would be very hefty for their former second-round draft pick.

However, the Lakers do still hold somewhat of an advantage when it comes to possibly re-signing Horton-Tucker by way of Early Bird Rights. The exemption allows teams to go over the salary cap in order to re-sign their own player in free agency.

Furthermore, Horton-Tucker falls under the “Gilbert Arenas Rule” that limits the first-year salary teams can offer restricted free agents who have been in the league for two years or fewer. Thus, the Lakers are in position to give Horton-Tucker a more lucrative deal with a larger starting salary.

Horton-Tucker makes best of Chicago homecoming

Due to NBA health and safety protocols restricting what players are permitted to do on the road, Horton-Tucker couldn’t take full advantage of being back in Chicago. He noted the inability to visit family made him appreciate prior moments even more so now.

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