Talen Horton-Tucker to Lakers: 2019 NBA Draft Scouting Profile and Analysis

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

Iowa State guard Talen Horton-Tucker drives up court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Texas Southern, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Talen Horton-Tucker's wait ended after the Los Angeles Lakers selected the 18-year-old guard with the No. 46 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. 

         

Horton-Tucker's Scouting Profile (h/t B/R's Jonathan Wasserman)

Offensive Strengths

He has the powerful frame to play through contact. He's also a skilled ball-handler who can create his own shot around the perimeter or as a driver.

                         

Offensive Weaknesses

His lack of explosion hurts him as a finisher. And he's still far away from being a reliable shooter. Horton-Tucker is also an erratic decision-maker.

                  

Defensive Outlook

He has a mix of strength, incredible length and quickness that creates defensive versatility and pressure. Horton-Tucker can also guard positions 1-3.

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Projected role: Reserve scorer/energizer

Horton-Tucker made a name for himself in just one season at Iowa State. The Illinois native performed well with 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 35 games to help the Cyclones reach the NCAA tournament as a No. 6 seed. 

Beyond the stats, though, Horton-Tucker is enticing as an NBA prospect because of the untapped potential he possesses. He's a bit undersized at 6'4" but is able to make up for it thanks to a 7'1¼" wingspan that allows him to play on the wing. 

"I feel like, you know, just showing everyone the guard I am," Horton-Tucker said before the NBA combine in May, according to NBA.com's Kyle Ratke. "I play a lot of positions at Iowa State this year, and that was a great thing; I got to experience that. Just showing my overall guard skills."

Horton-Tucker is also the youngest prospect in this class coming out of college basketball. He won't turn 19 until Nov. 25. Age is crucial to keep in mind because his worst skill at this point is shooting. He made just 40.6 percent of his attempts, including 30.8 percent rom three-point range, last season. 

Because Horton-Tucker has youth on his side, the Lakers can ease him along by helping him develop a shot. He may have to spend some time in the G League to refine his game, but there is a lot of potential for him to be a steal at this point in the draft.