Raptors rumors: Lakers making absurd push for Gary Trent Jr.

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 7: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 7: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /

While Gary Trent Jr. and the Toronto Raptors have surprised plenty around the basketball world by making a push for the play-in tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league because of their 21-20 record. LeBron James is looking to get some more young shooters around him at the trade deadline.

Trent certainly looks like an attractive option after his breakout campaign. Averaging 16.4 points per game while making 37% of his 3-pointers and ranking near the top of the league in both deflections and steals per game, Trent has been a dynamic presence on both ends for this young Raptors team.

It is hard to imagine a deadline in which Masai Ujiri parts with Trent, who just signed a three-year contract with Toronto this offseason. Still, the Lakers are trying to bring Gary Trent Jr. to Los Angeles in one of the most unusual, foolishly optimistic trade pursuits we’ve heard this season.

Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reported on his podcast that the Lakers have considered making a move for Trent, who has been an excellent two-way player this season. Scotto did make mention of his belief that a trade will be very hard to pull off because of the lack of assets Los Angeles to play with.

Toronto Raptors rumors: Gary Trent Jr. to the Lakers makes no sense.

Any sort of package the Lakers can offer would have to be centered around Talen Horton-Tucker. With the Iowa State product scoring just 11.0 points per game and making a pitiful 24% of his 3-point shots, bringing back THT or a player like Austin Reaves in exchange for Trent would be breathtakingly dumb.

The Lakers simply lack the assets to entice Toronto into a trade. The Russell Westbrook trade with Washington robbed them of most of their depth, and the Anthony Davis deal with New Orleans saw them give up most of their draft picks. Rob Pelinka has to be dreaming if he thinks this could happen.

Trent, who will only turn 23 in a week, is one of the few above-average shooters on this team. This gives him a defined role on the squad that makes him extremely valuable. Toronto wouldn’t have traded Norman Powell and given Trent the contract they signed him to if they didn’t believe he could be a part of their long-term future.


The Raptors will likely explore all avenues when it comes to improving this roster and building a winner, but trading a quality young player and expert 3-point marksman in Trent for a bunch of tomato cans that LA is trying to pawn off would set this team back considerably.

If Pelinka calls, hang up the phone.

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