The Lakers will start Summer League at the California Classic without their lone draft pick, Talen Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker was diagnosed with a stress reaction in his right foot during the NBA Draft combine, and will consequently miss the Sacramento portion of Summer League, where the Lakers will play the Heat, Warriors, and Kings on July 1, 2, and 3.
Las Vegas Summer League begins for the Lakers on July 5 against the Chicago Bulls, so there isn’t much time in between the two events for Horton-Tucker to be re-evaluated and cleared to play. The team’s medical staff will assuredly be conservative with the 18-year-old’s health, even though he says he isn’t experiencing any pain in the foot right now.
When asked if he planned on being available for Las Vegas, Horton-Tucker said he would defer that decision to the medical staff.
“I trust what they’re telling me, so you know whatever they’re telling me, whatever they want me to do, I’m gonna do it. If it’s to play in Vegas, then I’m gonna do it, if it’s not, then I’m not,” Horton-Tucker told reporters at Friday’s summer league practice.
Although Horton-Tucker is unavailable to play, he was still at Summer League practice at the Lakers facility earlier Friday, which was also attended by veterans LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and Lance Stephenson. He did not participate in drills, but he did do some skill work after practice.
Horton-Tucker did do a bit of light shooting after practice, however. pic.twitter.com/IVuXMBIpEI— Harrison Faigen (@hmfaigen) June 28, 2019
The remainder of the Lakers’ roster for Summer League was already released. Without Horton-Tucker, however, it is unlikely that any player who suits up for Los Angeles at the California Classic will find their way onto the NBA roster later this season.