It was about this time last summer that the Los Angeles Lakers seemingly had a trade in place for then-Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield.
Los Angeles then opted to end negotiations with Sacramento and ultimately acquire Russell Westbrook in a deal with the Washington Wizards.
Now that Hield finds himself on the Indiana Pacers following a blockbuster in-season trade back in February, it’s being noted that Los Angeles has renewed interest.
According to Matt Moore of the Action Network, Los Angeles has opted to circle back to Hield as a potential upgrade this summer. Moore doesn’t get into too many details about how a trade might look. It could simply be the Lakers offloading someone like Talen Horton-Tucker and picks to acquire Hield from Indiana. It could also be part of a larger-scale deal including the aforementioned Westbrook.
Los Angeles Lakers’ interest in Buddy Hield trade makes sense
Among the many issues for a 49-loss Lakers team last season was spacing. Anthony Davis (19%) and Russell Westbrook (30%) were absolutely atrocious from three-point range.
With Malik Monk (39% from three last season) potentially set to move on in free agency, acquiring someone like Hield would make sense.
- Buddy Hield stats (2018-22): 18.0 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 3.0 APG, 39% 3-point shooting
Despite issues on defense and an overall problematic game, Hield would certainly fill a role as a three-point specialist in Southern California.
How would a Buddy Hield trade to the Los Angeles Lakers look?
First off, previous reports suggested that the Indiana Pacers had interest in acquiring Westbrook in a trade. It’s not yet known whether that’s the case, especially given Westbrook’s bloated contract and the fact that he opted into said deal.
For Indiana, acquiring Westbrook’s contract would be more about long-term cap relief than anything else. Interestingly, the Pacers also just recently turned down an offer from Los Angeles that would’ve seen Russ to Indiana in addition to a future first-round pick for a package surrounding Macolm Brogdon.
A larger-scale deal involving Westbrook could include Hield and T.J. McConnell heading to the Lakers. Said trade would free up two longer-term contracts for Indiana while the team brings in Westbrook’s expiring deal.
However, the likeliest scenario is a scaled-down trade sending Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn and a salary filler to Indiana for Hield. That could make sense for both sides, providing the Los Angeles Lakers with a starting backcourt tandem of Hield and Westbrook.