Lakers Rumors: Horton-Tucker Could Get 'Tyler Johnson Poison-Pill Contract'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2021

Los Angeles Lakers' Talen Horton-Tucker plays against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Talen Horton-Tucker will be a restricted free agent this offseason, and it could take a lot of money for the Los Angeles Lakers to keep him.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on The Hoop Collective podcast there is significant interest in the guard around the league.

"People think that he can get the Tyler Johnson poison-pill contract," Windhorst said (24:25).

As a restricted free agent in 2016, Johnson signed an offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets worth $50 million over four years before the Miami Heat matched it.

Windhorst noted the contract also became backloaded when it was matched, causing Johnson to make less than $6 million for the first two years and over $19 million for the last two. Johnson was eventually traded during the third year of his deal.

Like Johnson, Horton-Tucker flashed potential in his first two seasons but is seeing limited minutes.

The 20-year-old appeared in just six games as a rookie but played well in the G League for the South Bay Lakers with averages of 18.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He has continued to perform for the Lakers this season when given a chance, averaging 7.4 points and 1.0 steals in just 16.6 minutes per game.

With per-36-minute averages of 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.1 steals per game, it's easy to project the guard as an impact player in the future.

"He has legitimate star potential," Dave McMenamin added on the podcast, noting he could be a "20-5-5 guy."

With high-priced veterans such as LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell on the books for next season, it might be tough for L.A. to match a sizeable offer on Horton-Tucker.