LeBron James continued to hype up young Lakers teammate Talen Horton-Tucker, a player he’s been tracking since high school into the NBA.
Selected by the Lakers with the 46th pick in the second round of the 2019 NBA draft, THT has forced his way into their rotation. Now in his second season, THT continues to show flashes of dominant play on both ends of the floor. He has a feel for the game that makes his impact greater than the box scores.
The Lakers began playing him extensively towards the back end of their seeding games in the NBA bubble. He impressed mightily, leading to brief appearances in the playoffs. Talen Horton-Tucker then dominated in the preseason for the 2020-21 season, staking a claim for a regular rotation place.
The 20-year-old will now be relied upon by the Lakers for much of the upcoming season. So far, he’s looking well and truly on the way to carving a long NBA career. He has all the tools to become one, as LeBron James acknowledged.
Talen Horton-Tucker receives great praise from LeBron James
In yesterday’s post-game presser, James was full of praise for the young guard/swingman:
“He does it on both sides of the floor, and then he just listens. He’s a sponge. And he can apply it right away … big time game for a kid that’s still growing into his own, but he’s (beyond) his years.”
Talen Horton-Tucker: “I always said I just want to learn. I feel like being a sponge is the most important thing you have to do when you are learning, especially with the caliber of guys that we have. Just being a sponge is probably key to doing good things this year.” pic.twitter.com/IZOI5LNBTi
— Ryan Ward (@RyanWardLA) January 11, 2021
A few scouts believe he could actually be averaging in the neighborhood of 20 points a game if he were on an inferior roster. THT has certainly demonstrated the appetite for it.