NBA Rumor: Talen Horton-Tucker Free Agency

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The free agencies of Caruso and Horton-Tucker (a restricted free agent) will be interesting. Both will have multiple suitors, sources said. With limited cap room leaguewide, the full midlevel exception — worth about $10 million — will be a powerful tool. Some agents and team executives expect a climate in which teams might offer all or most of the midlevel at the starting gun and demand a quick answer. If some rival does that with Caruso, will the Lakers match or exceed it right away? If they haggle, will it cost them?

After making the minimum salary in his first two years, Talen Horton-Tucker is set to get a big raise. ProFitX projects Horton-Tucker’s production next season to that of a $11.2 million player, which would technically make him a bargain since he can’t earn that amount next season. His starting salary in 2020-21 cannot be greater than either the projected $10.5 million the Lakers can offer him via Early Bird rights, or the $9.5 million NT-MLE other teams are limited to offering him due to the Gilbert Arenas Provision.

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.”
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September 18, 2021 | 9:28 pm EDT Update
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You’re here for at least the next five years now that you’ve signed an extension. Do you allow yourself to think – or dream – about what might come over that time span since you’ve talked openly about wanting to win a title in New York? Have you allowed yourself to think about how things might progress? Julius Randle: Obviously, it’s a process. Everything is a process. We’ve been building this from the ground up. But for me, personally, that is the expectation (winning a title in New York). That’s what I want to happen within that time frame. There’s a lot of things, factors that go into that. So obviously you’ve got to weigh that stuff in.
Julius Randle: But as far as myself, I know Thibs (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) is thinking (it as well), it’s just win at all costs. For me personally, that’s just how I prepare myself. I prepare myself to compete at the highest level of our game. Like I said, there’s a lot of factors (that go into winning an NBA title). But I trust Leon (Knicks president Leon Rose), I trust Thibs, Wes (Knicks vice president William Wesley), our coaches, Scott (Knicks GM Scott Perry) – all these guys, I trust. That was part of my process in thinking of signing the extension and that’s my goal, that’s our goal as a team and the guys that are around us. We want to be able to say that we won a championship here in New York. I don’t think there’s any better feeling than that.
Did you guys see the video clip of Trae Young at the Garden with WWE? Do you care about that stuff? Julius Randle: Yeah I see it. But honestly, I don’t care. Obviously, that’s (for) entertainment purposes and all that (stuff), so I let people enjoy it. For me, honestly, I don’t care. I honestly didn’t even watch it. Knicks fans, they’re going to make a big deal out of it – they didn’t like it (laughs). But it’s all fun and games and hopefully they enjoyed it.
September 18, 2021 | 12:10 pm EDT Update

Rockets re-sign Dante Exum, waive Tyler Bey

The Rockets have officially re-signed guard Dante Exum and waived Tyler Bey to create a roster space for him, according to the NBA’s transactions log. Hoops Rumors’ JD Shaw was the first to report the Bey transaction (Twitter link). With John Wall not expected to play for the team this season as it seeks to trade him, the Rockets were in the market for another point guard. The Rockets’ interest in Exum surfaced on Tuesday.
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