Lakers fans should be seething over reported trade LA turned down

The Los Angeles Lakers have not made the best roster decisions over the last several years. After winning the NBA Championship in October of 2022, Rob Pelinka and the front office have done everything possible to make the team worse. If it was intentional, it would be a fantastic job.

There have been quite a few horrible decisions made by Pelinka that have put the team in its current state. Whether it be letting players go too soon or making ill-advised trades, the roster has slowly gotten worse and worse over time.

Not only have the Lakers made poor decisions on what moves to make, they have also showcased poor judgment in the moves they passed on. During the 2020-21 season, Los Angeles had a chance to make a trade with the Toronto Raptors that likely would have resulted in a title. They passed because they didn’t want to move Talen Horton-Tucker.

That was not the only time that the Raptors tried trading for THT. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, Los Angeles had the chance to trade THT last season for a package that would have been far better than the eventual Patrick Beverley trade. Let the fury commence.

This missed Talen Horton-Tucker is inexcusable for the Los Angeles Lakers.

At the time, the Patrick Beverley trade looked like a genius move and that is because Horton-Tucker simply was not good in Los Angeles. He really has not been that great in Utah, either, so with how bad Beverley has been the team at least isn’t missing out on much.

This trade for Birch would have been far better for Los Angles, especially considering how bad Beverley has been this season. Birch himself is not that dynamic of a player, to be fair, but the addition of a first-round pick would have been big for the team.

While McMenamin did not classify when the pick would have been, it likely would have been Toronto’s 2022 first-round pick. The Raptors eventually traded that pick to San Antonio to get Goran Dragic off the books. That pick ended up being the 20th overall pick.

It may not be a lottery pick but getting a first-round pick for THT would have been massive. It is not like the team was taking on a horrible contract with Birch, either. He is signed for the same duration at THT and his salary never even reaches $7 million.

This team needs young talent that it can build around. Instead, Rob Pelinka opted to trade young talent for an expiring Beverley who almost certainly won’t be part of the team next season. Heck, he might not even last the entirety of the 2022-23 season.