The Los Angeles Lakers started the 2022-23 NBA season off as the worst three-point shooting team in the league. Although they have since improved to become the fifth-worst three-point shooting team, clearly it is still an area they need to improve in.
Fortunately for L.A., the Toronto Raptors have had a disastrous run so far this year. Nobody knew what to expect from them coming into the season and their 23-28 record exemplifies why.
Given that they are 12th in the East right now, it is reasonable to assume that the Raptors will be sellers rather than buyers at the NBA Trade Deadline.
This week Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports dropped some nuggets on “Please Don’t Aggregate This” podcast regarding a potential trade between these two teams.
Specifically, he addressed the growing chatter that Klutch client Gary Trent Jr. might be a target for L.A.
“I have been told that Trent is at least on the Lakers’ radar,” Fischer said.
“I don’t know if they have actually called Toronto and had active conversations about it, things that actually move the needle, but I’ve been told and believe from credible folks (that) maybe it’s not a lusting desire for Gary Trent, but he at least seems to be someone they’re monitoring.
“But maybe that’s also just someone from a certain agency suggesting that. Maybe that’s all it is. But we shall see.”
While Trent’s 36.9 percent three-point shooting percentage is down a bit from last year’s 38.3 percent, he would still be a huge value-add for the Lakers beyond the arc.
And while Trent’s long-distance shooting has worsened slightly in 2022-23, his field goal percentage has actually improved from 41.4 percent last year to 44.5 percent this year. It’s a big reason why he is averaging a career-high 18.6 points per game.
The big question is what the Lakers are willing to give up for someone like Trent. Given all the rumors about them possibly making something happen with the Chicago Bulls, would they really be willing to throw that out the window and then use one of their coveted first round draft picks on a role player?
It all depends on what sort of role player Trent turns out to be. If he is a Glen Rice-type marksman who can comfortably serve behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis, then yes it’s worth it. Anything less, though? Probably not.
The Raptors are currently getting bombarded with trade offers. Between the insane proposal they got from the Knicks for O.G. Anunoby and the four squads hovering around Fred VanVleet, this is shaping up to be a busy couple of weeks for them.
May as well just put the Bengals in the Super Bowl now. https://t.co/gpfvvXvcpW
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 28, 2023
What does that mean for Trent and the Lakers remains unclear.
Will the Lakers and Raptors ultimately be able to come to terms on a Trent deal ahead of Feb. 9? One way or another, an answer should emerge within the next week.