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March 1, 2021 | 9:24 am EST Update
Horton-Tucker is another player who could have an intriguing free agency next summer. He is averaging just 6.7 points and 2.5 assists, but teams are watching him with interest. The second-year wing will be an early Bird restricted free agent, which limits the type of offers he can receive and gives the Lakers the ability to match, but that doesn’t mean doing so will be easy. “He’s a gifted defender with great length and great upside who’s just 20 years old. In this market, that’s exactly the type of player you want to chase,” one Eastern Conference executive said. “There could be a few teams who put them to the test and give [Horton-Tucker] an offer sheet thinking they could pry him away.”
Keeping Caruso, Horton-Tucker, Schroder and Harrell at their potential market values could push the Lakers’ payroll to $150 million. (Gasol’s $2.7 million salary is already guaranteed.) That’s without filling out the roster with other veterans or retaining Morris or Matthews. Once that is done, even with just minimum salaries, the Lakers could be looking at a base payroll of around $170 million to keep the team intact. Add in more than $100 million in luxury taxes and their commitments for next season would land between $250 million and $270 million.
“It’s a proud organization — I was here during the ’90s — but that has nothing to do with today,” he said. “Just like I don’t want us looking ahead, I don’t want us looking behind and what happened in the past. It’s important to know the history of the organization, that part is important, but our focus has to be exactly on what’s in front of us and that’s each day, each game, each practice. Be ready to keep improving. We got a young team. We have a team that can grow.”
March 1, 2021 | 6:21 am EST Update

Buddy Hield mulling NBA 3-point shootout contest invite

That even goes for Buddy Hield, who has an NBA 3-point shootout title to defend, although he was non-committal about the even. “Do you think I should go defend it?” Hield asked reporters when talking about the event. “I don’t know yet, to be honest, I’ve been having mixed emotions, you know, cover rules and especially I don’t have no time with my family. Just trying to see how the COVID rules and the boundaries are set up. No clear cut yes yet, I’ll just see in the next couple of days.” According to Hield, he received an invitation from the league to join the festivities, but he is still mulling it over.
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“It was a play for me or P.J.,” Monk said. “I told [Ball] to pass it to P, and he was like, nah. I had to make something happen.” Hield, who finished with 30 points, missed a desperation heave from beyond midcourt as time ran out. Earlier Sunday night, he became the fastest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 career 3-pointers, doing so in his 350th career game. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was the previous fastest at 369 games.
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