Lakers: 3 teams that could offer Talen Horton-Tucker a poison-pill contract

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass the ball defended by Mike Muscala #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on February 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass the ball defended by Mike Muscala #33 of the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center on February 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Lakers /

3. Chicago Bulls

Salary by year:

  • 2021-22: $72,671,867
  • 2022-23: $17,120,036
  • 2023-24: $9,835,881
  • 2024-25: $0

Like New York, Chicago is a young team in a large market with a strong salary cap. With $72.6 million on the books next season and only one guaranteed contract beyond that, the Bulls are well-poised to offer Talen Horton-Tucker a poison-pill contract if they so desire.

One factor in Chicago’s favor over potential rival suitors is that THT is a Chicago native, so they’re able to pitch the “hometown hero” narrative as well as a competitive contract.

From a basketball standpoint, it appears that Chicago’s backcourt is very crowded. Zach LaVine, the current starting shooting guard, is playing at an All-NBA level this season, averaging 28.1 points per game on .519/.430/.863 shooting splits.

However, LaVine has been part of several trade rumors, including many linking him to the Los Angeles Lakers. If the whispers prove to be accurate and Chicago trade LaVine, there will be an opening at the starting shooting guard position.

THT’s defensive acumen is an excellent fit on-court next to the offensively talented but defensively challenged Coby White. Coupled with a talented young front-court consisting of Patrick Williams, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr, plus any assets brought in from the LaVine trade, it’s easy to see Chicago becoming an Eastern Conference force.

Next. 5 defensive wings the Los Angeles Lakers should acquire. dark

Don’t be mistaken; it’s almost certainly the front office’s preference to re-sign Talen Horton-Tucker to a long-term contract. However, if a team decides that he’s worth a poison-pill deal, the Los Angeles Lakers don’t have any salary-cap space and will struggle to match an offer.

Which rival teams do you think are most likely to offer THT a poison-pill contract? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.