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NBA Rumors: LA Lakers youngster Talen Horton-Tucker expected to compete for a starting spot in training camp

Talen Horton-Tucker of the LA Lakers
Talen Horton-Tucker of the LA Lakers
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST

The LA Lakers are a must-watch team in the 2021-22 NBA season given their star power. They have a combined 60 All-Star appearances on the roster along with 5 MVPs, 4 DPOYs, and several former league leaders.

Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have led the league in scoring, while James, Westbrook and Rajon Rondo have led the league in assists. Dwight Howard is a five-time rebounding leader while DeAndre Jordan did so once.

Three of the game's greatest passers. #LakeShow https://t.co/c0TylEyojm

The star-studded LA Lakers are favorites to win the Western Conference and have the second-best odds right now for the 2022 NBA title.

However, with a roster like this one, it is understandable that the lineup is not set in stone. People assumed Carmelo Anthony would be given a starting role but we have since learned that Trevor Ariza will start instead.

Moreover, James and Anthony Davis will feature in new positions, and both the bonafide centers, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, will come off the bench. The shooting guard spot is reportedly up for grabs, with Wayne Ellington, Talen Horton-Tucker, Malik Monk and Kent Bazemore amongst the candidates.

NBA Rumors: LA Lakers might consider Talen Horton-Tucker for a starter role instead of Wayne Ellington

Wayne Ellington with the LA Lakers in 2014
Wayne Ellington with the LA Lakers in 2014

Talen Horton-Tucker is developing into one of the most hyped young players in the NBA. The 20-year-old was strictly kept off the table in any trade negotiations as the LA Lakers love his talent and LeBron James reportedly wanted him in the lineup. He is a decent shooter from beyond the arc and shows incredible confidence whenever he is on the floor.

Talen Horton-Tucker saw an increase in minutes last season when LeBron James and Anthony Davis were injured. He had multiple double-digit scoring outings, along with a 24-point performance against the Utah Jazz on 60% shooting and a 23-point-10-assist outing against the Houston Rockets on 56% shooting.

Hot take that isn’t that hot:THT will be a SUPERSTAR one day 🤫@Thortontucker (via @Lakers) https://t.co/WjIvqDi4Ex

According to a report by The Athletic, Bill Oram, Shams Charania, and Sam Amick reported,

"With Westbrook aboard, sources said Davis has emerged as the expected starting center, clearing the way for a likely starting five of him, Westbrook, Ellington, Ariza and James, according to sources. Third-year guard Talen Horton-Tucker, a rising, young talent for the Lakers, is also expected to compete in camp for a possible starting role."

The starting five are reportedly going to be Russell Westbrook (PG), Wayne Ellington (SG), Trevor Ariza (SF), LeBron James (PF) and Anthony Davis (C). However, we can be sure that this won't be the starting lineup for many situations and coach Frank Vogel will integrate Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Rajon Rondo into the lineup.

We have seen this team change lineups on the fly and adjust according to each opponent so this starting five is certainly not set in stone.

NBA News: LA Lakers sign Austin Reaves to a two-year deal

Austin Reaves with the LA Lakers in the 2021 NBA Summer League [Source: Silver Screen and Roll]
Austin Reaves with the LA Lakers in the 2021 NBA Summer League [Source: Silver Screen and Roll]

Austin Reaves fills the 14th roster spot on the LA Lakers' lineup for the 2021-22 NBA season. The NBA allows up to 15 players on the roster along with two players on two-way contracts. Reaves was previously with the LA Lakers on a two-way deal but has now been upgraded to a full-time member.

The other player on the two-way deal is Joel Ayayi and the final two-way spot will likely be filled by either Mac McClung or Chaundee Brown.

Second year on Austin Reaves’ deal will be a team option, sources said. Lakers have had success developing unheralded players such as Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso and view Reaves -- a 6-foot-5 guard -- in a similar mold. twitter.com/ShamsCharania/…

You can view the LA Lakers' upcoming preseason schedule and their roster here.


Edited by Rohit Mishra

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