Going into the season, Talen Horton-Tucker was viewed as a player that could potentially make a leap for the Los Angeles Lakers and help them as a rotational piece. However, Talen Horton-Tucker has not delivered on those expectations.
While Talen Horton-Tucker has definitely shown flashes of being a solid slasher and defender, he is still a developing player. He is currently averaging 9.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 2.5 APG, while only shooting 40.7% from the field and 24.8% from beyond the arc.
Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report has recently revealed that Talen Horton-Tucker is viewed by other teams "as a marginal asset" due to the fact that he's "still a developing prospect" but is "$7.7 million more expensive this season than his contemporaries".
Now that the Lakers are looking to improve their roster ahead of the trade deadline, Horton-Tucker is viewed by other teams as a marginal asset. He's still a developing prospect, but he's about $7.7 million more expensive this season than his contemporaries. But the bigger issue for the Lakers, above his salary, is the 21-year-old guard's player option before the 2023-24 season.
This wouldn't be a concern if the Lakers signed him to a three-year deal. For example, the Nets aren't looking to move Claxton but have explored the possibility. Unlike Horton-Tucker, Claxton will be a restricted free agent this offseason, giving any acquiring team the leverage to re-sign him.
The same level of team control won't come in a Horton-Tucker trade. He can hit unrestricted free agency in 2023. Away from ball-dominant stars LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, if he blossoms, the leverage will be in the hands of Rich Paul and Klutch Sports, not the acquiring team.
There is no doubt that Talen Horton-Tucker could still develop into a good player. An Eastern Conference executive once even claimed that he'd give Talen Horton-Tucker a max contract. However, for him to develop, he may need to go to a different situation.
It was previously reported that the Los Angeles Lakers have been offering a package that features Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and a pick to other teams, but that there has been no interest yet. It remains to be seen if the Los Angeles Lakers will be able to acquire an impact player prior to the deadline, but it is clear that other teams are unimpressed by what they have to offer.