The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly trying to reset their roster to move up the standings in the Western Conference. Now that Talen Horton-Tucker has become trade eligible as of Jan. 15th, he is reportedly on the trading block, according to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times.
“According to people with knowledge of the situation, the team is shopping 21-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker in trade discussions. Rival general managers believe the Lakers value Horton-Tucker, but they lack the mid-range contracts needed to put together a deal to upgrade their roster and understand no significant trade is getting made without him.”
Horton-Tucker just inked a three-year deal worth $30 million, making him the fourth highest-paid player behind LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. The Lakers have struggled with cap flexibility for the last few seasons in their attempt to acquire stars. The draft-day deal to land Westbrook and his $40 million contract makes Horton-Tucker expendable because of limited options.
THT is currently in his third season with the team, but a thumb injury that required surgery and an extended stint in the NBA Health and Safety protocols has slowed his progress.
This rumor comes on the heels of a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski stating the Lakers will not make any moves of consequence.
“Listen, the Lakers tried,” Wojnarowski said. “They tried to get involved with [former Atlanta Hawks wing Cam Reddish], you know the Knicks had a better asset for them. I think the Lakers are in a tough spot to do anything other than just kind of move the furniture around.
“… I think, for the most part, the Lakers’ improvement is going to have to come from within. They just don’t have tradeable assets, especially with so few sellers in the market. There are going to be other teams who can offer those select few sellers better offers than the Lakers will be able to.”
At this point, time will tell how coveted Talen Horton-Tucker is on the trade market and if the Lakers can put together a package that a team would be interested in.