After sending the No. 4 pick to the New Orleans Pelicans as a part of the Anthony Davis trade, the Los Angeles Lakers went into the 2019 NBA Draft without any picks.
With the need to fill out roster spots without a lot of cap space available, it made sense when it was reported the Lakers hoped to buy second round picks to get some young talent into the organization to help fill out roster spots.
They were able to do exactly that as the Lakers completed a trade with the Orlando Magic for the No. 46 pick in exchange for a 2020 second round pick and cash considerations.
With that pick, the Lakers drafted Talen Horton-Tucker, who was projected by many experts to go in the first round but slipped all the way to the Lakers at No. 46.
After being drafted, Horton-Tucker expressed his excitement to be part of an organization like the Lakers, according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
“It’s a blessing … it’s a dream come true,” said Horton-Tucker on a conference call. “Everybody grows up and wants to play for a team like (the Lakers). I can’t wait to get started.”
Horton-Tucker is just 18 years old, but he realizes the rich tradition the Lakers have built as an organization over the years:
“You always hear about the Lakers and how much tradition they have and all the players that come through there … it’s a great place,” he concluded. “It was a dream destination for me.”
While Horton-Tucker did not go through a private workout with the Lakers, general manager Rob Pelinka saw him at the Klutch Sports pro day a few weeks ago where he got the chance to watch him workout and meet with him. Being repped by Klutch Sports, Horton-Tucker also said he has had the chance to meet both LeBron James and Anthony Davis already.
Horton-Tucker is a very raw prospect so to expect him to make a significant impact for the Lakers during his rookie season may be a bit of a stretch, but he does present a ton of upside for the future.
However, with not many young players left in the organization after the Davis trade, Horton-Tucker will likely get a ton of opportunities during Summer League and training camp to prove he is capable of being an NBA player right away.