When Walker Kessler returns to the Utah Jazz, Talen Horton-Tucker’s time playing should be over.
It’s no secret that over the last three games the Utah Jazz’s offense has been much better. Keyonte George took Talen Horton-Tucker’s starting job, Ochai Agbaji has been added to the starting rotation in lew of Walker Kessler’s injury and Jordan Clarkson has been shooting the ball tremendously over that span.
The offense is finally looking like it should’ve all along. The changes, however, didn’t just stop at the starting five, but the bench as well. Simone Fontecchio is now playing significant minutes, while Jazz’s head coach has gone from a 10-man rotation to a 9-man rotation, seemingly dropping Kris Dunn from the bench squad. At least for now.
Assuming the nine-man rotation continues, one name from the starting five and core four bench players (Horton-Tucker, Fontecchio, Kelly Olynyk, and Collin Sexton) will have to go when Kessler returns to the fold. He’s too good to sit and while the Jazz may not have him start upon his return, he’ll still get his minutes.
So that means that someone has to take a seat, but who should it be?
We’re not going to play the guessing game, it’s Horton-Tucker. He’s the player that needs to not only not start, but not play. Over the last three games, it’s become pretty clear that he’s not giving the team much that can’t be found elsewhere. Giving Fontecchio or Agbaji more minutes, while playing Kessler 25+ minutes will balance out just about anything Horton-Tucker was giving, minus the poor shooting nights and the massive amount of turnovers.
Horton-Tucker’s most value to the Jazz serves as an expiring contract that can be used in potential future trade deals. This is why he may still be getting minutes so that the Jazz can somehow increase his value in future trade talks.