Talen Horton-Tucker could be a difference-maker for the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a title win and have had a terrific offseason. The talk of the town has been the new acquisitions, but one player who will make noise in year two is Talen Horton-Tucker.
So far this offseason has been everything any Lakers fan could’ve asked for and more. The Lakers have added Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews to an already stacked team. Sure the Lakers lost Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Javale McGee, and Dwight Howard but the additions are simply stronger.
20-year-old Talen Horton-Tucker should get some regular playing time. LeBron James might get less playing time early on due to the shortened offseason. This can certainly help a player like Horton-Tucker.
In his rookie season, Horton-Tucker didn’t play much but when he did he displayed his skillset and why the Lakers traded for him.
In six games he averaged 5.7 points on 47 percent shooting in 13.5 minutes. In the playoffs, he made a strong appearance in game five against the Rockets in the Conference Semifinals. In only 10 minutes he had nine points and three rebounds. The rookie showed extreme confidence in limited time attacking the basket and looking for his offense.
Many players around the Lakers organization believe he will be fantastic. One person being Jared Dudley who says he will be huge for the Lakers this coming year.
Horton-Tucker can play both guard spots and has good size at 6″4. His frame (234 lbs) and athletic prowess help him finish around the basket. The Lakers don’t have many guys that can create on their own as he can. As a rookie when given the opportunity he would attack the paint relentlessly.
Defensively, Horton-Tucker has the tools and was good on that end at Iowa State in college. In his few minutes in the league, he showed quick hands but at times he would get beat gambling. This is understandable for rookies and he will likely improve as time goes.
With the addition of Schroder, Horton-Tucker will likely be on the ball less if he comes off the bench, but his improvement as a shooter will help him. Horton-Tucker appears to be ahead of the curb in that department as he shot it confidently as a rookie.
He went 6/15 from deep over his last five games. The fact that he shot 15 threes over that span in just 70 minutes gives you a reason to believe.
Look for Horton-Tucker to see a lot more playing time in year two. He should sniff out regular playing time as deep as the Lakers are. He is a gifted athlete with scoring ability. The Los Angeles Lakers and coach Vogel won’t let that go to waste.