It is not a surprise the Lakers gave the Iowa State product that offer considering how much he exceeded expectations in 2020-21. After all, the 2019 second-round pick played a mere six games during the previous season and came into last year as nothing more than a secondary contributor.
While Horton-Tucker was still a role player for the Lakers, he took on additional importance for stretches when LeBron James and Anthony Davis were sidelined by injuries.
The 20-year-old often anchored the second unit and even drilled a game-winning three-pointer in an overtime victory over the New York Knicks in May.
In all, he averaged 9.0 points, 2.8 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game behind 45.8 percent shooting from the field and 28.2 percent shooting from three-point range during the regular season as someone who could play multiple positions, carry the offense for small spurts and create his own shot.
Horton-Tucker isn't someone who is going to carry a team, but he is still young and took significant strides as his first full season in the NBA continued.
That Los Angeles offered him the qualifying offer, especially at such an affordable price, is no surprise. It also wouldn't be a surprise if it matches any long-term offers he receives from another team.