Grade the Trade: Lakers make disastrous move to add Raptors wing in rumored deal

The Los Angeles Lakers are rumored to be interested in one of the Toronto Raptors free agents. This mock deal illustrated how disastrous the cost would be.
Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers
Rob Pelinka, Los Angeles Lakers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors enter next season with relatively low stakes. Their young core is locked up long-term, they have a number of rookies and second-year players, and simply performing better than last season and being in the mix for the Play-In Tournament will satisfy most fans. The pressure will come, but it's not extremely high heading into next year.

The Los Angeles Lakers, on the other hand, have sky-high stakes heading into next season. LeBron James' career is in its twilight phase and his prime has an even shorter lifespan, the franchise is expected to compete for a championship, and after multiple disappointing seasons and unconscionable team-building decisions, the front office is likely on a timer as well.

How will the Lakers prepare for this season of high expectations? Thus far the answer has been "not much" as they drafted a pair of rookies and re-signed a raw third-year wing; Dalton Knecht, Bronny James and Maxwell Lewis are not doing much to help them contend next season. Meanwhile, the teams around them have largely improved, including big acquisitions for the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings from directly behind them in last year's standings.

The Los Angeles Lakers are backed into a corner

After LeBron James offered to take less money to add an impact free agent, he used the Lakers' lack of activity to publicly justify accepting a deal close to his max; he shaved off a couple of million dollars from his absolute max to move the Lakers a literal hair beneath the second luxury tax apron. That leaves essentially no room to upgrade the roster.

One player that the Lakers are rumored to be interested in is Raptors free agent Gary Trent Jr. Looking at their roster that makes some sense; they need 3-and-D wings to surround LeBron James and Anthony Davis with, and their options behind Austin Reaves are all young and unproven.

The problem is that for the Lakers to add Gary Trent Jr. it would take a truly disastrous move. Let's look a little closer and see the potential pitfall awaiting Rob Pelinka and the Lakers.