Rob Pelinka, Lakers drawn to the versatility of Talen Horton-Tucker
The Los Angeles Lakers and Rob Pelinka were expected by some to make a big splash in last Thursday’s NBA Draft, especially since they already sent their fourth pick to the New Orleans Pelicans as part of the Anthony Davis trade. But the only move they made was purchasing the 46th pick from the Orlando Magic, which they used to draft Talen Horton-Tucker from Iowa State.
Despite being a late second rounder, the Lakers are still very high on Horton-Tucker, now known in Lakerland as THT. In a post-draft day interview with Spectrum SportsNet, general manager Rob Pelinka said the Lakers like the potential of THT, particularly his versatility in terms of being able to guard multiple positions on the floor.
“What we liked about Talen is he’s from Chicago, he’s got a grit and grind to him and he’s a really long and versatile, strong defender, playmaker. I think he’s going to a be a really versatile player. His wingspan is elite, like a 7-1 wingspan. We see him as a guy who switch, guard multiple players and he’s got a developing 3-point shot, too, and if he learns to do that he’s going to be a really, really strong guard in the league.”
The Lakers have made a reputation of being able to select talented players late in the draft, which has been evident over the past couple of years. They drafted Jordan Clarkson 46th in 2014, Larry Nance Jr. with the 27th pick in 2015, and most recently, Kyle Kuzma, who was selected 28th overall, in 2017.
However, one can argue that the primary reason why those players were able to excel was the fact that they were given ample time to play in the NBA, something THT might not be able to get next season. The Lakers are expected to have one of the most talented rosters in the league.
It is expected that he’ll spend a lot of time in the G-League, which is good — he will still be able to play basketball and develop his skills while waiting for the opportunity to get called up to the main roster.
Laker fans will have a first glimpse of THT in the Las Vegas Summer League.