NBA

Lakers Acquire No. 46 Pick in NBA Draft, Select Guard Talen Horton-Tucker

The Los Angeles Lakers purchased the No. 46 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft from the Orlando Magic on Thursday.

Entering the 2019 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers had no selections to make that would actually net them players who would don the purple and gold.

After trading the No. 4 overall pick in the Anthony Davis trade last week, the Lakers had no other picks remaining entering Thursday.

Since the Anthony Davis trade cannot be completed until July 6 at the earliest, the Lakers selected DeAndre Hunter from the University of Virginia on behalf of the New Orleans Pelicans, who traded the rights to Hunter to the Atlanta Hawks before the draft.

Earlier in the week, there were reports that the Lakers were looking to acquire second round picks in the draft either by trading the few remaining players on their already thin roster (i.e. Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, or Jemerrio Jones) or by paying for the pick using allocated funds.

As the draft got underway on Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, pick after pick was made, but the Lakers still seemed to struggle finding a team willing to sell or trade them a pick.

Finally, in the middle of the second round, just as the 40th overall pick was announced, it was reported that the Lakers had acquired the No. 46 overall pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for cash.

At the time, once presumed top five pick Bol Bol, the son of former NBA center Manute Bol, was still available, having fallen all the way into the second round due to injury concerns at the University of Oregon. 

Many fans were hoping he would be available at No. 46 when the Lakers would have their chance to snag him, but he went two picks prior to the Miami Heat, who then traded Bol's rights to the Denver Nuggets. 

Instead, the Lakers selected shooting guard Talen Horton-Tucker out of Iowa State University; a versatile wing player with plenty of upside potential.

Horton-Tucker flew under the radar during the 2018-2019 NCCA Men's Basketball season, but showed flashes of greatness for the Cyclones. Tucker-Horton finished the season averaging 11.7 points, four rebounds, and 1.3 steals and showed he can be a big time playmaker on the court.

Horton-Tucker is a scorer at any level, and his skill set will be needed with the Lakers who currently only have six players on their roster, and only one of them (Bonga) is a guard. Scouts believe that Horton-Tucker is one of the best shot creators in the 2019 draft class and has an insatiable defensive prowess as well.

As a combo guard, Horton-Tucker should see plenty of playing time with the Lakers in his rookie season, and has the ability to start right away if needed.

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