Talen Horton-Tucker will average around 10 minutes per game during the upcoming season.
The Talen Horton-Tucker hype rocket (yes, that’s right, we can’t say hype train because the hysteria has flown well past normal levels) has blasted off towards the moon.
THT has over a seven-foot reach and LeBron James loves him and he scored 33 points in a preseason game and Anthony Davis thinks he’ll play a large role next season and he’s great out of the pick and roll and Kawhi Leonard couldn’t believe he’s only 20-years-old and he’s so good he’s making Vogel’s life difficult and did we mention LeBron loves him.
Every year there’s always one or two young players who kill it in summer league or during the preseason, creating a frenzy throughout the NBA world. Remember when Lonzo Ball won the summer league MVP, and folks in La La Land proclaimed greatness awaited him?
The most important part of the word preseason is the “pre” at the beginning — it’s practice, a warmup for the real contests. It’s nothing more and nothing less.
THT’s looked great, and he’s been a nice story. It’s too early to tell, but perhaps in a few years, after he’s matured, he’ll turn into another weapon for the Purple and Gold. There’s even a chance he’ll morph into an All-Star, another late-round steal, in the mold of Draymond Green or Manu Ginobili. The key idea is all of the fantastic possibilities awaiting Horton-Tucker lie in the future.
THT will not explode onto the “scene” in 2021. The Lakers are one of the deepest squads in recent memory and the odds on favorite to win the title this season. Horton-Tucker recently turned 20-years-old, younger than many of the rookies selected in the 2020 NBA draft. Plus, he’s played a total of 81 minutes throughout his brief NBA career.
Young and inexperienced players are great for rebuilding teams, but championship contenders stocked full of talented veterans seldom play first or second-year players.
There is no way THT is going to replace Alex Caruso in the rotation. AC started in the Lakers’ penultimate finals game against the Miami Heat for a reason—he’s one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and good things always happen when he’s on the floor.
THT is not going to shove Kyle Kuzma out of the rotation either. You can say what you want about Kuz, but he’s a 6’9″ wing who improved across the board. He’s become a decent defender, passer, and rebounder. He was also a key cog in the Lakers championship run.
THT will become a member of the regular rotation because of his impressive preseason. That in of itself is a minor miracle. When LeBron James and Anthony Davis rest, THT will see his fair share of action, but he’ll play sparingly when the Lakers are at full strength.