Time Is On Talen Horton-Tucker's Side
This piece does not reflect the views of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
SG/SF, Freshman, Iowa State
6’4, 235 pounds
College Stats in 2018-19:
35 games, 34 starts, 27.2 MPG, 11.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.7 BPG, 40.6 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 62.5 FT%
Where he’ll go:
Horton-Tucker is considering a late-first or early-second-round pick.
Talen Horton-Tucker will be 18 when the 2019-20 NBA season starts. That’s wild, and also will help tell the story of where and when he gets drafted. Team fit will be huge for him.
He has a lot of good things going for him, despite his somewhat odd body for the NBA level.
Horton-Tucker has a great feel for the game offensively, even if he isn’t the most-athletic guy. He isn’t an above-the-rim player but is crafty at the rim. You’d like to see him replace some of his weight with muscle.
He’s good in space and is an OK spot-up shooter, despite somewhat of a funky shot.
The shooting percentages are a cause for concern. Some of that has to do with poor shot selection, but his free-throw percentages point to perhaps a bigger problem. It’s hard to be a physical player offensively if you can’t hit your free throws.
He’s a good passer and shows some good guard skills, although he needs to tighten his handle and improve his decision making offensively. It will help at the NBA level where he’ll have a singular role. At Iowa State, he was asked to do a lot.
“I feel like you know, just showing everyone the guard I am,” Horton-Tucker said about what he wants to prove to teams at the NBA Combine. “I play a lot of positions at Iowa State this year and that was a great thing, I got to experience that. Just showing my overall guard skills.”
There’s plenty of untapped strength with Horton-Tucker and that will help him in certain situations, but he’s not all that quick or athletic and that could cause him to be a liability defensively. A lot of that looks like a lack-of-interest issue, too.
There is plenty of intrigue, and also plenty of red flags with Horton-Tucker. But what he has on his side more than anything is his youth. He’ll be able to work with NBA-level development coaches, and the G League could be a huge opportunity for him to grow.