Credit: Iowa State Athletics

Talen Horton-Tucker Draft Profile

Breaking down the NBA potential of Talen Horton-Tucker

Freshman 6’4″ 238 SG/SF Iowa State DOB: 11/25/00
11.8 ppg 4.9 rpg 2.3 apg FG: 40.6% 3 PT: 30.8%

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Recruiting Profile

Wingspan: 7’1″

NBA Comparison: Dion Waiters/Rawle Alkins

Strengths: Perimeter Defense, Length, Shot Creation

Weaknesses: Efficiency, Size, Position Fit, Speed/Quickness, Explosiveness

Playing for the one of Chicago’s basketball powerhouses in Simeon as a high shool recruit, he had some hype entering college, but there were not many expecting him to receive the level of NBA attention that he has to this point. He can create a shot off of the dribble very well using step backs, fade aways, or a crossover. Coming off of a screen is something that he can do, but he is most effective when being able to create space himself rather than being set up by a teammate. His length allows him to not only get his shot off, but also enables him to be a top level defender on the wing. He blocked a good amount of shots averaging almost a block per game to go with 1.3 steals, showing that his potential on the defensive end is one of the highest of the guards in this years draft class. Playing on a talented Iowa State team with players like Marial Shayok and Lindell Wigginton somewhat limited his production on the offensive side of the floor, leading many scouts to think that he has untapped potential as a scorer going forward. This potential was on display in games like his 23 point performance against Ole Miss, and when he dropped 26 points against Illinois. His age is a positive with him not turning 19 until after the NBA season begins.Β 

Despite the fact that he showed he can score the ball, his efficiency was not ideal. Shooting it from the field at 40.6% to go with 30.8% on three point attempts, means that he will have work to do in becoming a strong enough shooter to stick in the league. His shot looks good coming off of his hand, and he is fluid off of the dribble, which will give teams hope that this improvement is one that is not only possible, but probable. Only standing at 6’4″ means he will be smaller than most of his peers on the wing, especially with many projecting him to play the small forward position at the next level. Having a 7’1″ wingspan will go a long way to help him in dealing with the taller players that he will have to guard on the wing. His position fit is an interesting aspect of his projection, due to his 6’4″ height but being longer than many other wing players. The most likely case will be that he will play both shooting guard and small forward at the next level, however there is some concern that even with his length he will struggle to score against the increased size of the NBA. This concern can be alleviated by Horton-Tucker playing more shooting guard, which is certainly a possibility, however his position/role fit going forward will have a impact in his potential production. He is definitely not the quickest or fastest player on the floor, and he will need to continue to be crafty in the ways that he scores the basketball.

These plays show that he has the potential to knock down outside shots:

Here is an example of how he can finish at the rim:

Horton-Tucker is projected anywhere from the late first round to the middle of the second round. Due to the fact that teams are basing his draft stock off of potential more than his production, he could be a player who goes higher than expected or slips further than most are projecting him to be selected. His ceiling as professional is a starter level guard, becoming a solid scorer on the wing and providing a high level on defense on the perimeter. The worst case scenario for Horton-Tucker is that he is unable to score efficiently enough to earn minutes, delegating him to a reserve role mainly getting playing time for his defensive abilities.Β 

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