The Los Angeles Lakers were on the verge of acquiring Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield when a blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade suddenly came together. With the deal still not official, the Lakers could be looking to get the best of both worlds.
Los Angeles received plenty of criticism for choosing Westbrook over Hield. While there’s no debate the 32-year-old point guard is the superior player, his skills are in contrast to what the Lakers need. Los Angeles struggled from beyond the arc this past season and Hield, one of the best perimeter shooters in NBA history, would have solved that.
Due to NBA rules, the Westbrook trade isn’t official until Aug. 6. With a few days remaining, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reports the Lakers are still interested in acquiring Hield.
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, it’s far easier said than done. The organization’s best remaining asset is a Dennis Schroder sign-and-trade, which is possible this summer. But, per Lowe, neither the Kings nor Wizards want any part of Schroder.
Can the Los Angeles Lakers still get Buddy Hield?
The lack of interest in the 27-year-old guard isn’t surprising. Sacramento is set at guard with De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Davion Mitchell. Meanwhile, Washington likes the assets it acquired and doesn’t want to be stuck with Schroder’s upcoming contract.
If the Lakers want to acquire Hield, the front office only has a few days to find a fourth team for this blockbuster trade. It requires finding a team interested in signing Schroder to a contract that could be worth more than $18 million per season. Given NBA general managers are still focused on free-agent talents like Kyle Lowry, Lonzo Ball and Spencer Dinwiddie, that’s unlikely to happen.
Ultimately, the Lakers have to make the best of a situation they created. Spacing is an even bigger concern than before and there are fewer resources to add perimeter shooting. Los Angeles needs to hope veteran talent will take a steep discount to play alongside Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis