As the Los Angeles Lakers prepare for free agency, the 2019 California Classic (July 1) and 2019 Las Vegas Summer League (July 5) are quickly approaching as well.
Prior to the team’s first practice, the Lakers recently announced their Summer League roster which featured the No. 46 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, Talen Horton-Tucker.
Since the 2019-20 Lakers roster will be comprised of mostly veterans, there is an excitement to watch the 18-year-old.
Unfortunately, Horton-Tucker will not play in the California Classic due to a stress reaction in his right foot but will be reevaluated before the start of Las Vegas Summer League, according to Kyle Goon of Orange County Register:
Talen Horton-Tucker is not going to play at the California Classic in Sacramento this week due to a stress reaction in one of his feet that was discovered at the Combine. He will be reevaluated prior to Vegas Summer League.
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) June 28, 2019
This is unfortunate news as general manager Rob Pelinka detailed why the Lakers purchased the No. 46 pick from the Orlando Magic, according to Spectrum SportsNet:
“What we liked about Talen is he’s from Chicago — he’s got a grit and grind to him. Just really long and versatile. Strong defender, playmaker. I think he’s going to be a really versatile player because his wingspan is elite. We see him as a guy who can switch, guard multiple players. He’s got a developing three-point shot, too. If he learns to do that, he can be a really, really strong guard in the league.”
With director of sports performance Judy Seto’s return, it will be interesting to see how the Lakers handle injuries moving forward. During the 2018-19 season, LeBron James and his teammates missed a total of 212 games.
At this time, the hope is Horton-Tucker will be completely healed by the start of his rookie season. While it is unlikely the 18-year-old will be a part of head coach Frank Vogel’s rotation, there is an opportunity depending on how general manager Rob Pelinka ultimately builds out the roster.
Although it is a disappointing start to Horton-Tucker’s career, he will have time to showcase his 7’1″ wingspan.