Lakers Are Interested in Gary Trent Jr and Spencer Dinwiddie; Plan To Use Cap Space for Midlevel Exception: Report

Lakers are targeting Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie as they aim to utilize cap space for midlevel exception deals. Read on for more details.

Updated on Jul 07, 2024  |  07:48 PM IST |  64.4K
Image Courtesy: Instagram
Image Courtesy: Instagram

Buzz is strong that the Los Angeles Lakers are considering signing free agents following LeBron James' decision to return to the team. 

Sources such as Jovan Buha and Shams Charania from The Athletic suggest that the Lakers are eying guards Gary Trent Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie if they can manage to free up sufficient financial resources to utilize their taxpayer mid-level exception. 

Lakers' financial strategy and pursuit of depth players

Jovan Buha and Shams Charania detailed that James accepted around a $3 million decrease in his two-year salary of $101.35 million - a move that successfully kept the Lakers under the second luxury tax limit.  

This implies that unless the Lakers can make a trade, they are unlikely to hire a third superstar to accompany James and Anthony Davis in the upcoming season. Instead, the Lakers seem to be focusing on acquiring two of the top backup free agents available.

Over the past four seasons, 25-year-old Trent has played for the Toronto Raptors and the Portland Trail Blazers. Notably, he has been a consistent performer, achieving an average of 2.5 or more three-pointers per game for his career at 38.6%. 

While his scores have somewhat declined recently--from an average of 18.3 points per game in the 2021-22 season to 17.4 points in the next season, and finally to 13.7 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.5 three-pointers, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 steals in 2023-24--Trent's overall performance still holds strong. 


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Dinwiddie's Lakers tenure - a season of transition and potential

The Raptors released 31-year-old Dinwidd, who subsequently signed a contract with the Lakers during the 2023-24 season. However, his stint in Los Angeles didn't see him establishing a considerable role. In 28 games, he averaged just6.8 points,1.7 rebounds 2. assists, and a successful three-pointer in 24.2 minutes per game. 

During the Lakers' first-round playoff clash with the Denver Nuggets, his contribution was even more diminished, with averages of 3.0 points, 1.6 assists, and 1.4 rebounds in five matches. But his record of averaging 17.3 points and 6.5 assists per game in the 2022-23 season with the Mavs and Brooklyn Nets proves that he has more than what was displayed last season.

Given the Lakers anticipate a virtually unchanged roster from last season’s first-round playoff exit team, any significant addition would be desirable, although Dinwiddie and Trent aren't expected to make a huge impact. 


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Rakesh Mehra is a passionate sports content writer at Pinkvilla, dedicated to bringing the thrill of the game to



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