Would the Los Angeles Lakers offer this trade for Gary Trent Jr.
While Gary Trent Jr. is a young player with potential and could be a really good off-ball scoring option for the Los Angeles Lakers (not just now but in the future as well), the chances of the Lakers making this trade are slim to none. You can absolutely talk yourself into Trent as a player on the Lakers but the logistics just don’t make sense.
First of all, the Lakers refused to trade for Kyle Lowry last season because the deal would have had to include THT. While I think the Lakers might not be as high on THT as they were a year ago, and Trent is also a young player, it does indicate that there might be some hesitancy from the Lakers.
The main reason why this trade likely won’t happen isn’t because of THT, though. It is not hard to talk yourself into Trent being the better young fit on the Los Angeles Lakers as someone who can score.
His salary is the biggest issue with this trade. The Los Angeles Lakers are hamstrung for money so much so that they let Alex Caruso walk away because the luxury tax payment would have been too much. Sure, they are taking on only slightly more in Trent this season and can throw in another expiring to actually save some money, but it would make things harder in the future.
Trent makes $7 million more than THT that will be on the books next season. Combine that with the fact that Russell Westbrook is going to make $6 million more next season and it is clear that the Lakers would not do this. The team is going to be over the luxury tax threshold anyway but this puts them farther over that threshold.
And as we have seen, the team is not trying to pay more tax even though it is a billion-dollar franchise. If they were unwilling to pay Caruso around $9 million, but are okay with paying Trent an extra $7 million AND trading THT then that would just be backward logic.