The Los Angeles Lakers are currently in a scramble drill as this season continues to be disappointing and has no real signs of getting better. There are plenty of Lakers rumors to go around about who the team is targeting but the most prominent name is Jerami Grant.
Grant is most likely going to be traded from the Detroit Pistons and the Lakers are reportedly interested. If the two teams were to make a trade, the Lakers package would have to include Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and another minimum contract (as well as, most likely, a future first-round pick).
In all honesty, the Pistons probably say no to that deal as there are other packages that are simply better for them to accept. That is a real shame for the Lakers, and more than anything, showcases that the team missed its chance to really maximize THT in a trade.
The Los Angeles Lakers should have traded Talen Horton-Tucker to the Toronto Raptors last year.
There was THT trade chatter around this time last year. The NBA trade deadline was later than normal and it appeared as if the Lakers were going to make a prominent move. The biggest name connected to the team was Kyle Lowry, however, that trade obviously did not happen.
The main reported reason why that trade did not happen is because of the inclusion of Talen Horton-Tucker. The Raptors were asking for THT and the Lakers did not want to part ways with him. Based on reports, it appeared as if the deal would have been Dennis Schroder, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, THT and some draft capital (probably the Lakers’ 2021 first-round pick) for Lowry.
While every Laker fan wants to convince themselves of THT’s potential, the Lakers would be in an exponentially better situation right now if they would have just pulled the trigger on that trade.
Would Lowry have kept the team alive in the playoffs? Maybe. The Lakers had a 2-1 lead over the Phoenix Suns before Anthony Davis got hurt and perhaps Lowry could have helped keep the Lakers alive alongside LeBron for long enough to not rush Davis back in an elimination game.
Regardless of what would have happened last season, this season would have been much better. The Los Angeles Lakers would not have traded for Russell Westbrook and instead would have likely signed Lowry to a new contract. Lowry was in a sign-and-trade that sent him to Miami and in this alternate reality, the Lakers would have the leverage to sign Lowry with bird rights.
His three-year, $90 million deal would have been much easier for the Lakers to navigate as well.
The team would still have Kyle Kuzma and since they did not have to re-sign THT they would have been able to afford Alex Caruso. Instead of what we are seeing now, we could have seen a starting five comprised of Kyle Lowry, Alex Caruso, LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard with a bench unit of Malik Monk, Carmelo Anthony, Kyle Kuzma, Kendrick Nunn and whichever other minimum guys the team still would have brought in.
That would have been so much better than the real version of the team. Sure, LA would have been trading away the future potential of THT but they are trying to do that right now! That is how far this as come. The team is getting desperate enough to trade the potential of THT for Jerami Grant, who is a classic good stats bad team guy, when they could have traded him for someone who undoubtedly would have made their team better last season.
It makes no sense. At this rate, the Lakers might as well hold onto THT because they are never going to get a package as good as last year’s Kyle Lowry package.