Talen Horton-Tucker is set to be in the LA Lakers’ lineup next season. However, how he fits into Darvin Ham's plans remains a key question for the franchise ahead of the new season.
The Lakers could potentially grease the wheels to reopen trade talks involving Kyrie Irving. LA’s front office is reportedly willing to budge and include two future first-round picks to the Brooklyn Nets for the mercurial point guard.
LeBron James may have just breathed his wish into existence when he revealed his desire to own a basketball team in Las Vegas. After his playing days are over, the four-time MVP could have his franchise in the next few years.
Here are the latest rumors involving the LA Lakers as of Aug. 12, 2022:
Talen Horton-Tucker could be in for a tough time breaking into Darvin Ham’s rotation
When Darvin Ham was introduced as the LA Lakers’ new coach, rumors surfaced that fast-tracking Talen Horton-Tucker’s development was his priority. Weeks later, the opposite could be happening by the time the next season starts.
The Athletic’s Jovan Buha joined the "Lakers Nation" podcast to discuss hot topics involving the Tinseltown squad. Here’s what the longtime LA Lakers beat reporter had to say on THT’s possible future with his team:
“I recently did a lineup, a depth chart projection and, like, I had THT as the 11th guy and kind of on the periphery of the rotation. The Lakers already have LeBron and Russ … even secondary guys like Austin Reaves played some point guard last year and Kendrick Nunn…
“They have enough ball-handling and shot creation, those are THT’s strengths … He has the ability to be a good defender but we have not seen it consistently. I think if he takes that step defensively, he could have a role on this team as something of a bench wing stopper.”
Buha added that the LA Lakers’ most immediate need is shooting, an area in which Horton-Tucker has failed miserably in his three-year stint in LA. His field goal percentage has significantly dropped from 46.7% in his rookie year to 41.6% last season.
LA Lakers could sweeten a potential Kyrie Irving deal with two future first-round picks
After all the posturing, the LA Lakers may have finally caved into the Brooklyn Nets’ trade demands for Kyrie Irving.
Reports previously surfaced that the Hollywood team was unwilling to offload two first-round picks for the mercurial point guard. However, that could be set to change.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic was a guest on the "Lakers Nation" podcast and gave his take on the Lakers’ continued pursuit of Irving:
“Do you think the Lakers would, at some point, give up two picks in a deal for Kyrie Irving? I think they would. I think what’s most likely the final outcome will be if they do end up trading for Kyrie Irving.
“It will most likely have to include two picks and I think they would do that for Kyrie versus the Indiana front or some of these other deals.”
The Athletic’s longtime beat reporter for the LA Lakers also stressed that any movement on the Kyrie Irving front would depend on Kevin Durant’s status.
LeBron James could own an NBA franchise in Las Vegas
A month or so ago, LeBron James expressed his passion to someday own a team in Las Vegas. He mentioned it candidly in an episode of "The Shop."
James' fervent hope could already be on its way to becoming a reality if reports are to be believed. NBA Insider Ric Bucher revealed an intriguing future for the four-time MVP not as a player but as a franchise owner on his podcast:
"LeBron James apparently is in the pole position, to be the owner of the Las Vegas expansion franchise, when Las Vegas and Seattle which I’m told is going to happen as soon as the next TV deals are in place...
"Those franchises are going to be added to the equation, which has a whole lot of repercussions including the timing of when LeBron decides to step aside and become an owner, rather than a player."
LeBron James could potentially have three years left playing basketball in the NBA. He could sign a two-year extension with the LA Lakers before June 30 next year and then go wherever his son Bronny James ends up.
Once he realizes his dream of playing with James Jr., the superstar could move on to bigger things like owning an expansion NBA team.