The Los Angeles Lakers have, for the most part, shipped out their draft picks over the greater part of the 2010s in exchange for the services of Anthony Davis. The move has proven to be the right move, as the Lakers won the 2020 NBA Finals. The team isn’t all old men like LeBron James, though, as the Lakers didn’t have to include Kyle Kuzma in the deal while they still had a draft pick in the 2019 NBA Draft even after trading the number four overall pick for Davis. With that second-round pick, the Lakers drafted Talen Horton-Tucker out of Iowa State.
He almost exclusively sat on the bench when dressed for the Lakers as he spent most of his rookie season playing for the Lakers’ G-League affiliate, the Lakers of South Bay. He ended up receiving some minutes here and there in the bubble, impressing the Lakers bench at some moments in the playoffs as well with some impressive, crafty drives as well as some three-pointers. After a couple of days in his second training camp, head coach Frank Vogel spoke glowingly of Talen Horton-Tucker, saying he “continues to impress” (per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll).
“The young man has a great attitude and great spirit… He just goes out there and kicks people’s butts, quite frankly. He’s a hell of a talent… He’s got a chance to be really good for us immediately.”
Frank says that Talen Horton-Tucker "continues to impress."
"The young man has a great attitude and great spirit… He just goes out there and kicks people's butts, quite frankly. He's a hell of a talent… He's got a chance to be really good for us immediately."
— NBA INSIDER HARRISON FAIGEN (@hmfaigen) December 7, 2020
This isn’t the first time that Vogel spoke glowingly of Horton-Tucker, as he spoke highly of him leading up to the bubble seeding games saying he continued to “prove himself in practice”. It’s very impressive that Talen Horton-Tucker continues to cause his head coach to gloat about him to media members, as he has assumedly done so by going against players like Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and possibly Dennis Schroder.
At the ripe age of 20, he may have a lot more upside than many would have expected for a 46th overall draft pick.