NBA exec on why it's unappealing to trade for Talen Horton-Tucker: 'He may be great in 4 or 5 years, but he's not right now' - Lakers Daily

NBA exec on why it’s unappealing to trade for Talen Horton-Tucker: ‘He may be great in 4 or 5 years, but he’s not right now’

Talen Horton-Tucker Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2021-22 NBA season with pretty high expectations for youngster Talen Horton-Tucker.

With the regular season almost finished, he certainly has not taken the leap that many fans and experts expected him to take this season.

That is just one thing that has gone wrong for the Lakers this season. To make matters worse, while Horton-Tucker was once seen across the league as an attractive trade chip, there now seems to be much more doubt surrounding his value.

One Western Conference executive recently spoke with Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report and offered a clear opinion on why it wouldn’t really be appealing to trade for the 21-year-old.

“He may be great in four or five years, but he’s not right now,” the executive said. “If we trade for him and he blows up, he’ll just opt out and hit free agency in 2023. We’d have no control over his contract.”

The Lakers were reportedly not willing to deal Horton-Tucker last season in a trade that would’ve netted them Miami Heat point guard Kyle Lowry, who spent the 2020-21 campaign with the Toronto Raptors.

There is no doubt that a player like Lowry would fit well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Last offseason, the Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook in hopes that he would help the team win its second title in three seasons.

As for Horton-Tucker, he’s averaged 9.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game so far this season. They’re not horrible numbers, but they definitely do not jump off the stat sheet either.

With Horton-Tucker’s trade value seemingly in a depressed state at the moment, the Lakers will likely look to hold onto him and hope that he can increase his value or get good enough to the point where the team won’t want to consider trading him at all.