NBA Rumors: LA Lakers rejected trade that would have sent THT to Toronto Raptors

Los Angeles Lakers v Portland Trail Blazers
Talen Horton-Tucker passes the ball.

An NBA rumor that surfaced recently suggested that the LA Lakers could have made a trade that sent Talen Horton-Tucker to the Toronto Raptors for a first-round pick.

Considering that the Lakers didn't follow through on this trade, ESPN's Dave McMenamin shared the details of the proposed trade.

The Lakers made their intent to ship Talen Horton-Tucker last season fairly evident. This was in light of the youngster's limited development in a short span of time.

While there were several rumors floating around, the Lakers didn't make the trade happen as there was growing faith in THT to make a big leap and emerge as a solid two-way player.

Unfortunately, this didn't happen. THT remained a relatively inadequate player during his tenure with the LA Lakers. In the process of doing so, the team eventually traded him and Stanley Johnson to the Utah Jazz to acquire Patrick Beverley.

In light of this whole saga, it is evident that the LA Lakers missed out on yet another opportunity to improve upon their roster. However, Dave McMenamin's report only highlights what the team missed out on rejecting a trade with the Toronto Raptors.

He wrote:

"I’m told that the Lakers had talks with the Toronto Raptors, where the Raptors, late last year, when it already looked like the Lakers were probably out of it or, at the very least, going to be a low seed and wouldn’t have a likely championship path to go all the way. The Raptors would have traded for Talen Horton-Tucker.
"Traded a first-round pick. So, think about that, the Lakers had another first-round pick on top of the two firsts right now to play with to try to make this team better."

McMenamin added:

"Now, of course, I’m told the trade would have also involved Khem Birch so they would have taken some money there, and maybe Birch wouldn’t be the best rotation guy for this group, but that first-round pick is so valuable, and it’s why they’re so hamstrung with what they can pursue right now."
Report: Lakers rejected a trade last season that would’ve sent Talen Horton-Tucker to Toronto for a first-round pick:…

There was some pre-existing talk linking the Toronto Raptors and Lakers earlier as well. With the Raptors showing interest in Horton-Tucker, the team were also willing to make a trade involving Kyle Lowry at the time.

However, this relatively more recent rumor only highlights the Lakers' flawed approach toward making trades.

Having missed out on the opportunity to land a first-round pick, the Purple and Gold are virtually bankrupt of draft assets. While the Lakers did eventually make the trade for THT, the team hasn't necessarily profitted from it.

Trading Talen Horton-Tucker to Utah hasn't helped the LA Lakers much

As mentioned earlier, the LA Lakers eventually traded Talen Horton-Tucker to the Utah Jazz along with Stanley Johnson to acquire Patrick Beverley. The move itself garnered a lot of attention and was met with mixed opinions.

While Beverley's addition raised some questions with regards to his fit alongside Russell Westbrook, the guard made amends almost immediately upon arrival.

However, that is the only positive takeaway from the THT trade.

While Talen Horton-Tucker wasn't the most influential player on the floor, he managed to show sparks of potential on offense and defense. Meanwhile, Beverley has struggled to contribute to the Lakers' offensive rotation.

On a net basis, the Lakers haven't lost or won the trade. However, having missed out on a potential first first-round from Toronto, the LA Lakers are currently in the process of dealing with the impact.

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Edited by Rajdeep Barman
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