Lakers Trade Rumors: Talen Horton-Tucker Eyed by 7 Teams; LAL 'Hesitant' to Deal SG

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 13, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker plays against the Memphis Grizzlies in an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)
AP Photo/Nikki Boertman

Talen Horton-Tucker reportedly has drawn the attention of a number of teams that are looking to make a potential trade.

According to insider Jordan Schultz, "as many as seven teams" have targeted Horton-Tucker in trade discussions even though the Los Angeles Lakers "are hesitant" to move someone they "really value."

The 21-year-old also cannot be traded until Jan. 15 because of his Bird Rights.

While the 15-13 Lakers have struggled to find consistency this season, the Iowa State product has been a bright spot.

He is averaging career-highs across the board with 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.5 blocks per game in 2021-22. He is also versatile enough to defend multiple positions and can provide a scoring spark off the bench or fit in as part of the starting lineup.

That Horton-Tucker has carved out a role that allows him to average double-figure scoring totals in a lineup that includes high-usage players such as LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis and Carmelo Anthony is all the more notable.

He is also under contract through the end of next season, although he has a player option for the 2023-24 campaign.

That the Lakers are hesitant to trade someone so productive and young with time remaining on his contract should not come as a surprise, although they could look to shake things up before the playoffs if they continue to deal with the inconsistency that has defined the start of their season.

Horton-Tucker could be a young building block for a non-contender that looks to accelerate a rebuilding process by trading an established star or playmaker to a veteran-laden Lakers squad with realistic championship aspirations.

Such a trade may eventually happen, but he is a key piece to Los Angeles' efforts in the Western Conference at this point.