Lakers must realize Raptors won’t trade Gary Trent Jr. to them

TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18: Gary Trent Jr. #33 of the Toronto Raptors (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors knew they were getting a stud when they acquired Gary Trent Jr. in the Norman Powell trade, but even they had to be taken aback by how quickly he improved. Not only is Trent a deadly scorer and shooter, but his defensive improvement was nothing short of astonishing.

In need of some extra shooting around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Lakers have been trying to pry Trent away from the Raptors since the trade deadline. The Lakers have a bold strategy, as they are trying to acquire an elite player while simultaneously offering very little value in exchange.

The most tradeable asset the Lakers have on the roster right now is guard Talen Horton-Tucker, a perfectly serviceable young wing. However, LA’s front office is so deluded at the moment that they are once again trying to reignite their trade interest in Trent.

An unnamed NBA executive told’s Sean Deveney that he thinks the Lakers could reignite trade talks by offering…Horton-Tucker and a first-round pick! When will the league learn that Trent is an ascending two-way guard that the Raptors won’t just throw away for chump change?

The Toronto Raptors won’t trade Gary Trent Jr. to the Lakers.

The Raptors could pick up a first-round pick in this trade, but it’s so far in the future thanks to LA’s Davis trade that it wouldn’t be nearly as valuable as it seems. Trent can opt-out of his contract after this season, but the raptors should try to squeeze as much value out of him as possible rather than ditching him for peanuts.

Trent averaged 18.3 points per game while making 38% of his 3-point attempts on the season and playing elite defense. Horton-Tucker averaged just 10.0 points per game and made a career-worst 27% of his 3-balls. He might be younger than Trent, but the two are in totally different tiers at the moment.

The only way the Raptors should even consider dealing Trent is as part of a larger package for a legitimate star. The only people who genuinely believe the Raptors would trade Trent for Horton-Tucker are Rob Pelinka, fans of Atlantic Division rivals, and Lakers fans messing with the trade machine.

Horton-Tucker is a fine player, but the Lakers are genuinely delusional if they think they can get a player like Trent in return for a package headlined by the Iowa State product. Yes, Trent’s contract situation is precarious. That doesn’t mean he’s getting traded for chump change.

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