NBA trade rumors: Are the Lakers interested in Buddy Hield?
Pacers’ Hield has been a target for the Lakers for a long time, but will they finally manage to add him to their roster?
Los Angeles Lakers want to improve their squad in order to be contenders for the NBA title again, especially after their disappointing performance last season.
The Californian franchise set their sights on one player that would clearly suppose a quality step-up: non-other than Kyrie Irving.
However, the Lakers can’t do much in the Irving negotiations if the situation of the other Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant doesn’t get resolved soon.
If KD leaves the Nets, it doesn’t make much sense for the Brooklyn franchise to keep Irving on an expiring contract. The situation would be different if ‘Durantula’ finally stays, as the Durant-Irving duo is a key part of keeping Brooklyn in contention for the Championship.
Buddy Hield, the alternative for the Lakers
Taking into account these issues, Darvin Ham’s team has been considering different options to strengthen their shooting line and the Indiana Pacers seem to have what the Lakers are looking for.
According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers have re-engaged the Indiana Pacers on a deal involving Buddy Hield.
“One thing I have learned over the last day or two, tangentially, that there have been some talks reengaged between the Lakers and Indiana Pacers,” McMenamin said.
How the Lakers could get Buddy Hield
The obvious possibility would involve Russell Westbrook going back to Indiana. The Pacers have plenty of cap space, so they could absorb him by sending Hield out, or they could match his salary by including Myles Turner.
If the Lakers do include Westbrook’s expiring $47 million salary, trading for Westbrook mid-season would become significantly harder.
The other option would be for the Lakers to match Hield’s salary using multiple players: they could do it with Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, and one minimum salary.
Although the Lakers would seemingly prefer to trade for Irving, they don’t have unlimited time to make their moves and Hield seems a real option, as the Pacers seem ready to rebuild, and with the likes of Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, and Bennedict Mathurin in place, there isn’t much room for Hield.