The Los Angeles Lakers announced that they have officially re-signed restricted free agent Talen Horton-Tucker. While the terms were not released, it is reportedly a three-year contract worth $32 million.
In a summer in which the Lakers let almost all of their free agents walk, retaining Horton-Tucker was a priority all along due to his youth and upside.
The former second-round pick of the Lakers has spent two seasons with the team and while his minutes have been few and far in between, he is still just 20 years of age and has continued to improve throughout the course of his career.
In 65 games for the Lakers last season, Horton-Tucker averaged 9.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 steal.
As a restricted free agent, Horton-Tucker could have signed an offer sheet with another team, which the Lakers would have had the ability to match if they wanted. He never even got that far though as he made it clear early on that he wanted to stay in L.A.
“I feel like it was a no-brainer just to come back where I started and kind of run it back,” Horton-Tucker said in his (re)introductory press conference. “I want to win championships and compete for it, so being around this group of guys that we have, it’s been a huge plus for me so it’s gonna be great.”
It will be interesting to see if Horton-Tucker can take the next step in his development this season, whether that means entering the starting lineup or playing a key role off the bench for Frank Vogel.
A lot of that will depend on if the young guard can improve on a few things, namely his 3-point shooting and defense off the ball. Regardless though, the Lakers will once again have a very talented roster capable of competing for a championship, which as Horton-Tucker said, is the main reason he wanted to stay in L.A.
Horton-Tucker worked out with Nunn before last season
One new Lakers player that Horton-Tucker has a previous relationship with is Kendrick Nunn as both are from Chicago. The two guards actually worked out together last November and can now call each other teammates, which they both have to be pretty happy about after knowing each other for over a decade.
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