The Los Angeles Lakers’ roster underwent a complete overhaul this offseason with the only returning players so far being LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol and Talen Horton-Tucker.
Of that bunch, Horton-Tucker was the only free agent that the Lakers opted to re-sign, bringing back the 20-year-old on a three-year, $32 million contract.
Considering Horton-Tucker was a restricted free agent and the organization refused to include him in trade talks for Kyle Lowry at last year’s deadline, it seemed fair to assume all along that they would prioritize bringing him back.
And speaking at his (re)introductory press conference, Horton-Tucker made it clear that returning to L.A. was a priority of his as well.
“I feel like it was a no-brainer just to come back where I started and kind of run it back. 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.”
While Horton-Tucker would not say if he spoke to other teams or not before returning to the Lakers on the second day of free agency, he emphasized that his goal all along was to re-sign.
“I was pretty focused on trying to get back here,” the guard said. “After the first day, I just wanted to make it an emphasis to get back so I was happy that we were able to get that done after the first day.”
Now that he will be back for three more seasons, Horton-Tucker will have the opportunity to grow with the team that drafted him. His upside remains big, but it will be up to him to take the next step to earn more playing time on a roster filled with veterans.
Horton-Tucker feels roster fits together well
Speaking of the Lakers’ roster, Horton-Tucker talked about how he feels the pieces will fit together.
“I feel like it was put together great. Being around the veteran guys that we have is always gonna be great for like a young guy like myself. So just being able to be around them is gonna be great.”
Horton-Tucker has been a sponge the last two seasons learning from LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others. There’s no reason to think that won’t be the case this year where he will have new veterans to learn from such as Russell Westbrook, Trevor Ariza and Carmelo Anthony.
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