Five Things To Know About Utah's Newest Young Guard: Talen Horton-Tucker

Ryan Kostecka
Digital Content Writer

Entering the 2022 offseason, Utah CEO Danny Ainge and GM Justin Zanik had a firm plan for the Jazz. They wanted the team to get both younger and more athletic on the wing, a massive benefit considering the current position-less basketball in which the game is currently functioning.

Just under a month before players report for training camp, Ainge and Zanik have continued doing that. 

In a trade that sent Pat Beverley (acquired from Minnesota in the Rudy Gobert trade) to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Jazz have now added Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to their roster. 

Here are five things to know about the youngster, Horton-Tucker:

1.) Bright Future
When the Lakers overcame the strange season and took home the NBA title in the bubble, one of the bonuses was the emergence of then-rookie, THT. 

Acquired in a trade after being drafted in the second round in 2019, THT came on towards the end of the season, starting the regular season finale. 

His role increased dramatically during the 2020-21 season when he played in 65 games, averaging 9.0 points, 2.8 assists, and 2.6 rebounds per game. His role improved last year, starting 19 games and culminating in a career-high 40-point showing against Golden State on April 7.

2.) Championship Experience 
Although he played sparingly in Los Angeles's run to the title in 2019, THT achieved a small part of league history. 

He is the third-youngest player to ever win an NBA ring, doing so at 19 years and 321 days old. 

That postseason experience, all while continuing to learn under LeBron James, allowed THT to take his skills to new heights. Although still young at 22, he has a wealth of knowledge that would be vital to any young team in the game.

3.) Former Cyclone/Champion
One year after Iowa State went 13-18, THT joined the Cyclones as the prized recruit of a four-person class. Alongside fellow freshman and starter Tyrese Halliburton (now with the Indiana Pacers), THT led Iowa State to a 23-12 record, upsetting Kansas to win the Big-12 tournament championship and secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

In 35 games (34 starts), he averaged 11.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game. He scored 20+ points six times, including an impressive 26 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks performance against Illinois. 

4.) Childhood Legend
A native of Chicago, THT showed a level of prowess at basketball at an early age. 

Growing up on the North Side of Chicago in the Uptown neighborhood, his skillset made him a local legend on the courts around town. He starred for local Simeon Career Academy, leading the team to three City Championships during his time, where he became a four-star recruit. 

5.) Youth On His Side
Despite having three years of NBA experience, THT will enter the upcoming season as the third youngest player on Utah's roster — trailing rookies Walker Kessler and Johnny Juzang. 

That combination of youth+experience is one of the primary reasons the Jazz were so interested in the young guard.