Following Lynchpin Pascal Siakam Exit, Lakers Eye Raptors Guard amid Buzzing Toronto Trade Rumors

Published 01/20/2024, 6:57 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

After a lot of back-and-forth regarding Pascal Siakam, the Indiana Pacers finally sealed the deal. And now, it seems that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to be the Raptors’ next business partner. With Toronto practically nodding to trade anyone who is not Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, or Jakob Poeltl, there has been a lot of interest from other teams.

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LA’s interest is in none other than guard, Gary Trent Jr. With the apparent struggles that the Purple & Gold is facing, it is a given that they will be looking to increase their depth. With the Hawks’ Dejounte Murray being the frontrunner to wear a Lakers jersey, the team supposedly has an interest in a wide variety of choices. Other names that have been associated with the franchise are Malcolm Brogdon, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Tyus Jones.

How Gary Trent Jr. can help the Lakers?

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Trent Jr.’s two-way impact is certainly an attraction for a stumbling team like LA. Whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, the 25-year-old guard can help the Lakers get ready for a deep playoff run. The flip side of this is probably that the Ohio native is entering free agency after this season.

USA Today via Reuters

Whether Gary will be in for the long haul, that’s up for debate. But LA doesn’t need to worry about that now. They currently rank 10th in Western Conference standings as a below .500 team (specifically, .488). It has become the need of the hour to get an immediate impact player on the floor. Yet, their lack of attractive compensation has teams backtracking from potential deals.

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Going back to Canada, however, are the Raptors preparing for a post-Siakam era?

Toronto is getting ready for a post-Pascal Siakam period

It has become clear that the Raptors are looking to rebuild their team, with Scottie Barnes at the center. A 22-year-old forward-guard, Barnes is averaging 20.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game this season. Building a support cast around him, the Raptors will probably look to identify as a team with a young core.

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Indiana Pacers Trade News: Impressive Pascal Siakam Move Provokes Charles Barkley to Defame Giannis’ Bucks

By clearing space to secure assets come draft season, the February 8 deadline is an opportunity to jump-start the rebuild. If they can get valuable pieces, well and good. Even if they don’t, that’s fine too. As of now, Toronto is testing the waters by putting veterans with significant value and expiring contracts on the table.

If they can get a good deal, like the Warriors’ high-ceiling player Moses Moody, or a moderately protected first-round pick in the coming draft season, the franchise might consider a move. While the Raptors may have the luxury of time, other teams like LA and GSW don’t.

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Hopefully, an arrangement can be reached before it becomes too late.

Watch This Story: Rumors Swirl Around as 29-Year-Old 2X World Series Winner’s Trade Took Center Stage

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Written by:

Geisha Pulimoottil Don

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“Not only is there more to life than basketball, there’s a lot more to basketball than basketball” - Jackson had a simple philosophy when he was coaching the Lakers. He wanted everyone to succeed and grow in the service of something bigger than themselves. This is what struck me the most.
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Edited by:

Sameen Nawathe

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