The Talen Horton-Tucker hype train is chugging along.
The Lakers’ second-round pick has impressed since being selected No. 46 overall in the 2019 NBA Draft, with his desire to model his game after LeBron James and Draymond Green, his “grit and grind” mentality and his desire to defend all positions on the perimeter.
He’s also been outspoken about what it means to play for this franchise in particular because of its storied history. In an interview with local media after the draft, Horton-Tucker explained the allure of playing for the Lakers:
“You’ll always hear about the Lakers and how much tradition they have with all the players that come through there, so it’s just a blessing.”
It seems that the opportunity is something he’s thought about since he was just a kid:
Another draw of joining the Lakers now the talent on the team. Horton-Tucker has described being able to play alongside James and Anthony Davis as a “dream,” and he elaborated on what he thinks this team can achieve with two superstars on the roster:
“With LeBron, A.D., I feel like anything is possible... Kuzma, too, I feel joining the young core will be good for me.”
Other than Horton-Tucker’s reminder that the young core only consists of him and Kyle Kuzma at this point, which is something of a bummer, his comments should inspire a lot of enthusiasm about the upcoming season. The Western Conference is more wide open than it has been in nearly five years due to the unfortunate injuries suffered by the Golden State Warriors and the infighting in Houston, leaving a vacuum of power for the Lakers to seize.
It’s also good that Horton-Tucker expects to contribute right away. Second-round picks don’t generally have a role immediately, especially when they’re still 18 years old. But the Lakers aren’t in a developmental timeline right now, and with all they gave up to acquire Davis, they’ll need help on the margins this year.
Horton-Tucker understands that he’ll have to be ready to go once the season starts. His maturation could go a long way towards fulfilling the “anything is possible” promise.