The Los Angeles Lakers entered the 2019 NBA Draft without a pick and ended it with a second round selection who could contribute right away in Talen Horton-Tucker.
When the Los Angeles Lakers landed the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, very few people believed the team would actually use the pick for anything more than a piece of a trade package.
That left the Lakers without any picks going into the draft last Thursday, but then L.A. traded a 2020 second-rounder and cash to the Orlando Magic to get the No. 46 pick, which was used to select Iowa State swingman Talen Horton-Tucker.
Listed at 6’4″ and 235 pounds, Horton-Tucker is a Chicago native who played at Simeon Career Academy, the same high school that produced Derrick Rose and Jabari Parker, among others. Horton-Tucker averaged 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game as a freshman for the Cyclones last season.
His highlights included a 26-point, 14-rebound, six-assist stat line in a win over Illinois; 26 points, five rebounds and four steals in a win over Texas Southern; 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists in a win at Ole Miss; and a 21-point, three-steal effort in a win over Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament.
Horton-Tucker won’t turn 19 years old until the early stages of his rookie season, but he could find a meaningful role on a Lakers team that is expected to contend for an NBA championship.
Here are three reasons why L.A. made a good pick.