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Former Laker Kyle Kuzma Reacts To Talen Horton-Tucker Trade Rumors

Talen Horton-Tucker

As a former Laker, Kyle Kuzma knows all too well what it's like being mixed up in trade rumors.

In Los Angeles, especially, being a talented young player almost guarantees your name will be tossed in all kinds of reports and whispers. For Kuzma, it was like that up until he left the franchise this past summer.

For Talen Horton-Tucker, it's just getting started and Kuzma made sure to let the world know that he knows exactly how it feels.

Multiple teams are in pursuit of THT, but it has been shared that the Lakers are still very hesitant to trade him. And that move makes a lot of sense considering they were willing to let go of fan-favorite Alex Caruso in the summer just to keep him around.

According to salary cap expert Danny Leroux, if Caruso had agreed to the Lakers offer, the franchise would have owed an additional $17.5 million in luxury tax, a fact the Lakers hoped would resonate with Caruso.

Instead, the Lakers signed 20-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker to a three-year, $31 million deal. If the Lakers were only going to be able to keep one of the guards, it can be debated what was more valuable: A 20-year-old with unknown upside or the known commodity of Caruso. LeBron is about to be 37. Was it better to go all-in on a player who has proven he can help the Lakers win now? Or to look to the future a bit more while also hoping Horton-Tucker could help fill Caruso’s shoes?

Caruso’s exit paved the way for the Lakers to offer more to Horton-Tucker — a client of Rich Paul’s Klutch Sports, which represents both James and Anthony Davis — and keep him from signing an offer sheet elsewhere.

Horton-Tucker, 21, is a Chicago-born native who has emerged as a solid young piece for the Lakers. After helping them win a title in 2020, he has become an essential part of their future, especially their post-LeBron future.

But with increasing pressure for Rob Pelinka to shale things up, he could be used as a trade chip to bring in some guys who may be a better fit.

Regardless, there is a lot of faith in his abilities.