Report: Lakers, Suns, Warriors, Hawks and Heat could be interested in Gary Trent Jr.

Orel Dizon
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have several areas they need to improve upon if they want to become playoff contenders this season. Gary Trent Jr. can fill some of those holes, and it seems that they are among the teams who could reportedly be interested in acquiring the Toronto Raptors shooting guard.

“Trent (almost 24) would fit with any team looking to add a wing scorer who can defend,” wrote Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report. “The [Phoenix] Suns, Lakers, [Golden State] Warriors, [Atlanta] Hawks and [Miami] Heat could be interested.”

The question now is whether or not Trent will even be available. While there is no news of the Raptors looking to deal the Duke University product, the rumor mills are churning for various reasons.

For one, Toronto is just 13-14 to start the 2022-23 campaign, and if its record does not get better, the front office could look to blow things up and rebuild around the reigning Rookie of the Year, Scottie Barnes.

In addition, Trent has a player option for next season. If he opts out of his deal, then the Raptors could lose him for nothing. The organization would likely prefer to avoid such a situation and get back some assets in a trade package involving the 6-foot-5 wing.

Perhaps the ideal scenario for Toronto is for the sharpshooter to exercise the option and give the franchise a coveted expiring contract that it could use as a trade asset.

In the event that Trent does become available, though, the Lakers might find it in their best interest to sniff around. After all, their outside shooting needs some help. They are dead last in the league in 3-pointers made with 9.7 makes per contest. Furthermore, their efficiency from downtown (32.0 percent) is second to last.

The fifth-year pro would definitely help in that department, as he has made 2.4 3-pointers per game throughout his career on a 38.3 percent shooting clip. His percentage has been down this season (33.5 percent from beyond the arc), but maybe a change in scenery and playing with Anthony Davis and LeBron James could boost his efficiency.

Trent has also significantly improved on defense over the years. While he is not exactly a lockdown defender, he is still better on that end of the court than some of Los Angeles’ perimeter players.

It will be interesting to see if the Lakers can land Trent or another similar player in the coming weeks.

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