Lakers

Lakers on the Rise: Talen Horton-Tucker

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From the 2013-14 to the 2017-18 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers were not a competitive basketball team.

The “down years” as many Laker faithful would call them. After being on top of the NBA mountain for decades, the Lakers were in uncharted territory.

There was plenty of drama on the business side of basketball and those Laker teams were not constructed properly. However, the one shining light throughout those down years were the young and upcoming players that the Lakers scouts had done a fantastic job in identifying. LA drafted promising young talent such as Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. But they also found great players in the latter half of the NBA Draft. Players such as Larry Nance Jr. and Ivica Zubac displayed quite a bit of promise, which brings us to Talen Horton-Tucker.

 

Selected with the 46th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Horton-Tucker was subsequently traded to the Lakers for a 2020 2nd round pick and cash considerations. Since then, Horton-Tucker has spent the majority of his brief career in the G League with the South Bay Lakers. He appeared in 38 games for South Bay, starting each of them while averaging 18/6/4 in under 30 minutes of action. As a 6’4 guard/forward with a 7’1 wingspan — and behemoth hand dimensions of 9.5 inches long — Talen has a unique set of skills that are extremely important in today’s NBA. He can pass the ball, create space with decent ball-handling abilities, and attack the rim.

By no means is his game flawless. He is shooting 42% from the field, 30% from deep and averages 3.2 turnovers per contest. Talen has had to adjust his game to the NBA level quickly, as he did not play in 2019’s Summer League due to injury. The key for Talen is whether he will be able to develop his game and maximize his true potential. His game has been compared to that of Eric Gordon’s and is built somewhat like a PJ Tucker.

“I just want to sharpen my tools, because I want to play in the NBA,” said Talen in an interview. “That’s the main goal. That is what I want to do.”

Laker nation sees the potential in Horton-Tucker and would love to see a player like him develop into a formidable NBA player. There have not been many draft picks at the small forward position that the Lakers have successfully drafted and developed in recent times. The small forward position is the most important position in today’s modern NBA. For a team that does not have many draft picks in the future, and not many young players on the roster anymore, Talen’s development will be crucial for the upcoming few seasons.

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About Arjun Malhotra

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