NBA Rumors: LA Lakers Could Acquire Gary Trent Jr. For Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn & Pick Swap

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JB Baruelo

After successfully forming their own "Big Three" last summer, the Los Angeles Lakers immediately became one of the heavy favorites to fully dominate the Western Conference and win the NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season. Unfortunately, things aren't going as the Lakers expected since the start of the season. Their newest star acquisition, Russell Westbrook, is yet to live up to expectations and is noticeably struggling to make himself with LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Aside from trying to get rid of Russell Westbrook, rumors are circulating that the Lakers are also eyeing to add quality players who would complement James and Davis on the court.

Lakers Interested In Gary Trent Jr.

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In the past months, the Lakers have already been linked to several players who are expected to be available on the trade market before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. One of the top targets for the Lakers is Gary Trent Jr. of the Toronto Raptors. According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Lakers have expressed interest in adding Trent Jr. to their roster.

"The Los Angeles Lakers have been doing their due diligence around the league, and expressed interest in Raptors guard Gary Trent Jr., according to league sources," Scotto said. "One of several players they’ve checked in on."

Potential Trade Package

Though he's unsure if a trade between the Lakers and the Raptors would happen before the 2022 NBA trade deadline, Scotto named two players whom GM Rob Pelinka could use as potential trade chips to acquire Trent Jr. from the Raptors - Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn. Jason Reed of Fansided's Lake Show Life seemed to agree with Scotto.

However, in his proposed trade scenario, the Lakers won't only be sending THT and Nunn to the Raptors in exchange for Trent Jr., but they would also include the rights to swap first-round picks in 2026 in the trade package.

Raptors' Interest In Talen Horton-Tucker

As of now, the Raptors haven't shown a strong indication that they are planning to move Trent Jr. before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. However, the trade package that centered on Horton-Tucker would definitely catch their attention. During his conversation with Scotto, HoopsHype's Yossi Gozlan revealed that the Raptors have had an interest in Horton-Tucker since the 2021 NBA offseason.

"The most likely package would involve Horton-Tucker to match salaries," Gozlan said. "There was speculation that the Raptors had an interest in him when Kyle Lowry was available at last year’s trade deadline, but I’m sure that changed as soon as they got Trent."

Gary Trent Jr. On-Court Impact On Lakers

The Lakers may have refused to move Horton-Tucker last summer, but trading him now makes a lot of sense, especially if it means acquiring a player of Trent Jr's caliber. The potential acquisition of Trent Jr. is expected to boost the Lakers' performance on the offensive end of the floor and provide them with the much-needed improvement in terms of floor-spacing.

This season, the 22-year-old shooting guard is posting impressive numbers, averaging 16.4 points, 2.1 assists, and 1.9 steals while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.