The Los Angeles Lakers aren’t done wheeling and dealing ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline as they attempt to surround centerpiece LeBron James with the right supporting cast. As a result, Toronto Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr. is rumored to be on their radar, according to Yahoo Sports Jake Fischer.
However, speaking to NBA insider Marc Stein on The Stein Line podcast, Fischer says that it’s unclear whether “they’ve called Toronto and have had actual conversations about it.”
Trent would be a tremendous pickup for the Lakers, who acquired talented forward Rui Hachimura in a trade with the Washington Wizards last week. Shining as an on-ball defender and off-ball threat, Trent’s skillset lines up perfectly with what L.A. is missing from its roster.
Now in his fifth season at just 24-years-old, Trent is averaging 18.6 points and 1.7 steals per game while posting an efficient 57.6 true shooting percentage. Hypothetically, while he may have a smaller offensive role with the Lakers than he has had with the Raptors, he would be a high-quality wing that could feasibly start in the backcourt.
As the acquisition of Trent would likely need to involve the Lakers prized first-round picks, there’s always the possibility that L.A. finds the Raptors asking price too steep. Especially as there are rumored to be multiple suitors for Trent. Another factor in the Lakers decision is Trent’s contract status, as will become a free agent this offseason unless he picks up the player option on his $18.6 million contract.
While the Lakers may want to believe that Trent would stay in L.A. for the chance to compete for championships, there’s always a chance he’s dissatisfied with his role with the team. If he leaves, then L.A. would be left in a compromised position.