Why Talen Horton-Tucker Will Be More Dangerous for the Lakers in 2021-22 Season

Published 08/17/2021, 11:52 AM EDT


Following a 1st round drubbing in the postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers have reloaded, and how! In what looks to have been a clear-cut game plan, L.A. made their bets, picking veteran experience and championship pedigree over youth talent. In fact, in a move that saw the franchise land PG Russell Westbrook, L.A. dealt away the last remnants of its roster before LeBron made his way to Hollywood.

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However, amidst all the chaos, the Lakers managed to re-sign rising star in guard Talen Horton-Tucker, who’s all but 20 years of age! In a season where the Lakers imbibed the ‘next-man up’ mentality as they dealt with injuries throughout. THT was a key part of the rotation for head coach Frank Vogel.

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His mentality, work ethic and basketball IQ have been the trump cards for Tucker, who is now locked in with L.A. for the near future. And the what’s the best part? THT is already back on the court! Having put in the work in the weight room and on the hardwood in the past 8-10 weeks, Tucker has run riot on the floor.

Incoming: THT’s breakout season for the Lakers

Tucker dazzled like a diamond in the rough as L.A. rode through the slump without LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While Tucker’s ability to drive to the basket for either a shot or a facilitation kick was sublime for a 20-year-old, he lacked a stable jumper.

Presumably, along with ascending to the next step in terms of physical ability, Tucker may have just been busy in the gym with player development coach Phil Handy. And while THT is already an NBA champion, could this season see the young star take on a bigger role in the biggest stage of them all?

In fact, Tucker, who stepped up big time without the Lakers‘ dynamic duo averaging 10.7ppg/2.8rpg/3.7apg may have just earned increased playing time, especially given his closing ability.

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Sinking the shot that would see L.A. beat the Knicks along with a wingspan over 6 1/2 feet, Tucker has put his hand up repeatedly for a spot in the closing lineup.

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Is THT on TNT primed to make a big splash next season? Yes. Considering the volume of work he’s put in to condition his body and further his game, Horton-Tucker, given consistent playing time will likely build on a raw scoring and facilitation ability in 2021-22.

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Nikhil Naik

170 articles

Nikhil Naik is an NBA writer at EssentialySports. Having completed his bachelor's degree in Hospitality, he has worked with the Indian Hotels Company Limited, at the Taj in Mumbai. Nikhil has been playing basketball since 2014.

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