The Los Angeles Lakers are facing quite the crossroads right now. Most reports claim that they could be without both LeBron James and Anthony Davis for the next two months or so, so they could even decide to tank their way through the rest of the NBA season.
But, in the case they wanted to continue competing, it's obvious that they have to put more weight on the shoulders of some of their youngins, as someone needs to make up for James and Davis' production.
And, while most people would expect Kyle Kuzma to benefit the most from their stars' absence, it seems like coach Frank Vogel is actually looking forward to unleashing young scorer Talen Horton-Tucker.
Frank Vogel Expects Talen Horton-Tucker To Step Up Without LeBron James
"It’s a great growth opportunity … I like his aggressiveness, and he’s really going to grow during this stretch," Vogel told Mike Trudell when asked about Talen Horton-Tucker and his 16 field goal attempts vs. the Atlanta Hawks.
Talen Horton-Tucker had already shown glimpses of his scoring versatility before the start of the season and some people urged for him to crack the rotation. However, he wasn't getting enough playing time or shots early on.
Now, the 20-year-old sophomore will have the perfect opportunity to showcase his skillset with the team's two best players on the shelf. He's shown the ability to score from all three levels and could break out once and for all.
While his season averages are not impressive, his numbers per 36 mins are quite interesting: 15.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 three-pointers on 44.9% from the floor.
It's clear that a young player like Horton-Tucker can't single-handedly carry the load for a championship contender but this could be a blessing in disguise for them to develop another star in the making.