Talen Horton-Tucker will be a restricted free agent after this season, and there is already buzz about teams being interested in his services after what (so far) has been a breakout sophomore year while coming off the bench for the Lakers. Montrezl Harrell, his teammate who he also shares an agency with, can probably relate, but that doesn’t mean they’ve talked about the situation so early into the season.
“Nah brother, I got my own things that I’ve got to worry about,” Harrell said when asked if he’d given any advice to Horton-Tucker on dealing with the mounting buzz around his summer free agency. And in fairness to Harrell, free agency is still months away. Even for two Klutch Sports clients who have developed good synergy on the court together, that’s a little soon to be worrying about the offseason.
And besides: Harrell says that all he’s seen Horton-Tucker focused on is trying to improve as a basketball player.
“This is a young kid who I don’t think is worrying too much about (free agency) right now. He’s just looking to get better and go out and play the game the right way,” Harrell said. “We’ve got a great agency with Klutch and we leave those things to them. We can’t worry about what’s not in our control, and everything you just mentioned right there is not in Talen’s control.”
And Harrell is right. Horton-Tucker isn’t going to get a nice second contract by sitting around and counting dollar signs before they’re presented to him. Only two years into his career, he has plenty of time make money in the league. As Harrell has seen firsthand, Klutch will find a situation for Horton-Tucker that works out for him. For now, he and the other upcoming Lakers free agents — including Harrell himself — can’t help themselves by focusing on their next contract. Especially for a young player like Horton-Tucker, most of the things he has to prove and learn within a team context are the same things that will get him paid anyway.
“Only thing that Talen can control is going out here, playing the right way and executing our game plan offensively and defensively and playing for the team to win,” Harrell said. “As far as his individual status and goals, I don’t think that’s something he worries about. He’s a young player, and he’s just looking to continue getting better.”
If he does so, his next contract will take care of itself.