School: Iowa State
Height/Weight: 6’4″ 233 lbs.
Talen Horton-Tucker is a versatile swingman that has the potential to become the biggest steal in the lottery this upcoming draft. He’s a player that has gone under the radar despite his versatile skillset particularly with the ball in his hand. He has the potential to become a lethal playmaker and he showed flashes of that for the Cyclones throughout the season. Tucker averaged 11.7 points, 4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 27.3 minutes in the Big 12 tournament, similar numbers to the ones he averaged for the season.
THT is one of the most entertaining scorers in the upcoming draft and can score at every level with ease. With his solid size, the Chicago native can post up smaller defenders and has an array of moves that he uses to get himself a bucket.
He can finish through contact, he has solid footwork and get his defender to bite with pump fakes as well. His favorite move is his silky smooth step-back, that gets him space on the perimeter to take his three point shot. That step-back gets his feet set well and he’s efficient from beyond the arc when that’s case. He has the potential to become a crafty pro with time and development coupled with his existing skill set.
His first step is ELITE and he does not shy away from contact and will continue to build onto his solid frame
He can create his own shot and is arguably the best shot creator in this draft class. He can score off one leg, he can slash to the basket, and he can pull up off the dribble.
He is an above average ball handler and keeps his defenders shifting when guarding him. His elite ball handling ability does not only help his scoring as it will also help him create opportunities for his opponents at the next level. He must be accounted for at all times on the floor.
He possesses above average athleticism and is explosive in the lane with his agility. His agility and length have also contributed to his impact on the defensive end as well. A player that can become a pest in the passing lanes in the NBA is a more than desired quality for teams.
Tucker is one of the most gifted scorers in this draft, however that can be a gift and a curse. The Simeon legend can begin to force it even if it is not his night and that can come back and work against him. That inconsistency can be a detractor for certain teams looking to select him.
He must also become an improved free throw shooter. He shot 63% from the line this season and with his play style, constantly attacking the basket, he must become a better shooter from the stripe.
Tucker has a quick step and solid length, but he may struggle against players with speed at the next level. Players with long wingspans can sometimes depend on their length too much and not guard as hard and hope that his length will make up for the lack of intensity and lateral quickness on the defensive end.
Possessing the imposing size that Tucker has, he must improve as a rebounder and make sure he makes that an emphasis of improvement in Summer League. With his potential to dribble and score the length of the floor he has the potential to elevate his game if he becomes a smarter player when the ball comes off the glass.
Talen Horton-Tucker is a strong combo guard that has elite scoring potential and solid defensive potential as well. He has made his case for a top 10 pick in this year’s draft and I believe he will make one front office in the NBA very happy.
As of right now, I see him right around that 7th spot on my big board.