Most of the Los Angeles Lakers role players from the last couple of seasons have come and gone, but one who remains is the youngest of the group, Talen Horton-Tucker. The third-year guard re-signed with the Lakers this offseason, and is now set to share the backcourt with the team’s biggest offseason addition, Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook is known as one of the most intense and fierce competitors the NBA has ever seen and the young Horton-Tucker has shown a lot of potential over the last couple of seasons. One thing that has always been said about Horton-Tucker is how much he is willing to learn from the veterans he is around, and now Westbrook offers another.
The Lakers’ young guard made it clear that he is looking forward to just being around Westbrook on a daily basis and learning from his work ethic.
“I feel like with him just being who he is,” Horton-Tucker said. “It’s always gonna be great to just try and come in and see who he is and see how he brings himself to work every day, that’s always gonna be great for me to just see that and be up close and personal around him to see how he is every day. So I’m excited for that.”
While Westbrook has his share of things that garner criticism, one that will never be questioned is his outstanding work ethic. Westbrook gives his absolute all in everything that he does and that is something Horton-Tucker can learn from.
Horton-Tucker also understands that his role on the team will now shift, not only with the addition of Westbrook but also the other personnel losses the Lakers suffered. The young guard is prepared to focus on the defensive end while still growing offensively as well.
“First, defensively just trying to be able to come in and just try to fill a void that we need defensively first,” Horton-Tucker added. “Then offensively, I feel like that will always come. I feel like me being on the floor with the great guys that we have, just going out there and creating, continuing to showcase whatever I can do. I feel like there’s gonna be an opportunity to fill a role with those guys.”
Horton-Tucker remains the most promising young player on the Lakers and showed flashes of what he can become last season. Exactly how Westbrook’s addition will change what his role is on this team remains to be seen, but the young guard is ready to contribute in any way he can.
Horton-Tucker says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to return to Lakers
A restricted free agent whom the Lakers refused to deal away in trade talks, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Horton-Tucker would return to the Lakers this summer and that is exactly what happened. The team was obviously committed to him and it wasn’t a one-way street as Horton-Tucker made clear as well.
“I feel like it was a no-brainer just to come back where I started and kind of run it back,” Horton-Tucker added. “I want to win championships and compete for it, so being around this group of guys that we have, it’s been a huge plus for me so it’s gonna be great.”
There are very few teams who can give Horton-Tucker the opportunity to win another championship as good as the Lakers can and the guard returning helps them in a number of ways.
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