When you have two NBA teams that are headed in two completely different directions, as the Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers are, it’s only natural for trade talks to come up. The latest trade rumors center around Buddy Hield (29) and Myles Turner (26), as both players don’t fit Indiana’s competitive timeline and could help a contender right away.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are two years removed from their NBA Finals win in the 2019-20 season and still have the core players who helped them win in the first place. Yet, even with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, injuries slowed the franchise down, and they missed the playoffs altogether, going 33-49 a season ago. This is why the roster needs more help.
According to Zach Lowe, they may just get that help via the Pacers. The ESPN NBA insider suggests that even though it was previously reported that the Lakers wouldn’t be interested in a Buddy Hield + Myles Turner swap for two future first-round picks, that may no longer be the case. Lowe believes such a trade package would be enough to swing a deal.
Whether this rumored trade offer would be enough for the Pacers to also be willing to take on Russell Westbrook’s $47 million salary remains to be seen. It’s worth noting that swapping Hield and Turner for Westbrook would work under NBA trade guidelines and would save the Lakers nearly $8 million off their 2022-23 salary cap sheet. But how much would such a trade help the Lakers this season, and are the picks too valuable to give up?
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How Los Angeles Lakers would look with Buddy Hield and Myles Turner
Right now the Lakers have three point guards who could potentially start, with Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, and Dennis Schroder. While having a number of capable ball handlers is important for any basketball team, they don’t need that many proven players at one position, especially when LeBron James is your best lead guard when he wants to be. Sure, any number of them could also play shooting guard, but none are particularly great shooters and are better with the ball in their hands.
Not to mention, they’ve been trying to unload Westbrook practically since they acquired the nine-time All-Star. If they were actually able to complete the proposed Pacers trade, the Lakers would suddenly have a much more balanced roster that’s better prepared to make a postseason push.
Los Angeles Lakers projected starting five:
- PG – Patrick Beverley
- SG – Buddy Hield
- SF – LeBron James
- PF – Anthony Davis
- C – Myles Turner
While trading future first round picks is always a gamble, especially with an aging LeBron (37) and AD (29), if the Lakers are serious about capitalizing on or re-opening their title window, it may be worth the risk.
Suddenly the Lakers would have an ideal mix of distribution, ball-handling, ability to drive the rack, perimeter scoring, and defense both at the rim and on the three-point line.
While depth may still be a question mark, that starting five is enough to compete with any team on a nightly basis. Dennis Schroder and Thomas Bryant would be two of the team’s key reserves, with Juan Toscano-Anderson and Kendrick Nunn contributing as well.
It may not rival the starting lineups of the Golden States of the NBA landscape, but adding two proven talents in Hield and Turner could go a long way toward improving the Lakers’ win total this upcoming season. If this deal or anything close is actually on the table, general manager LeBron James, or we mean Rob Pelinka, would be wise to accept it.
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