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Report: Talen Horton-Tucker to undergo thumb surgery

The Lakers budding prospect was having another strong preseason and now it’s unclear when he’ll be able to return.

Talen Horton-Tucker #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball during a preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on October 8, 2021 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers G Talen Horton-Tucker will undergo surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right thumb, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. A second-round pick out of Iowa State in 2019, THT turned heads during preseason prior to the 2020-21 season. That sparked speculation that Horton-Tucker could be a solid piece to help LeBron James and Anthony Davis win a title. THT didn’t do much last season, but was heading into this season with high expectations.

This doesn’t really impact the Lakers much heading into the season. During the offseason, LA made sure to add plenty of depth at every position after what happened last season. The Lakers dealt with injuries to Anthony Davis while getting inconsistent play from Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schroder. So the Lakers went out and added Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Wayne Ellington, Kent Bazemore, Kendrick Nunn and DeAndre Jordan.

So the loss of Horton-Tucker really only impacts fantasy basketball managers. If you selected him already, toss him on IR and hope he can return at some point. It may not matter really, since it’ll be tough for him to grab a rotation spot with the Lakers’ sporting so much depth. This sort of means THT isn’t worth drafting in most formats. He’s worth monitoring during the season to see how he responds to the surgery and if he gets playing time.