Lakers Interested in Trading for $94 Million & $75 Million Stars: Report

Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers have expressed interest in Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon and Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield, according to a July 6 report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

“They’ve looked at other deals,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s NBA Today. “They’ve continued, I know, to check on Eric Gordon in Houston. That’s certainly a player that interests them. Buddy Hield in Indiana. Different kinds of guards. Shooting guards. Certainly both of those players, former Rob Pelinka clients.”

Hield signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Sacramento Kings in October 2019. The Kings traded the sharpshooter to the Pacers in February. Hield, 29, will make $20.5 million in 2022-23 and $18.6 million in 2023-24.

Meanwhile, Gordon signed a four-year, $75.6 million extension with the Rockets in September 2019. The veteran will earn $19.6 million next season and his 2023-24 salary of $20.9 million is non-guaranteed.

Lakers Almost Got Hield Last Summer

The Lakers nearly acquired Hield from the Kings last offseason. However, the franchise chose to trade for Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards instead.

Los Angeles made a gigantic mistake trading for Westbrook. The one-time MVP was second in the league in turnovers and his effective field goal percentage of 47.6% was sixth-worst in the NBA last season.

Hield is one of the best shooters in NBA history. He’s 50th all-time in made 3-pointers (1,417) and has never shot below 36.0% from beyond the arc in a season. In a May 26 column, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report opined that Hield would be the ideal player for the Lakers to trade for this offseason since the team needs more shooters around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

“Could the Los Angeles Lakers aim higher than Buddy Hield this summer? Sure, but only if they dangled Anthony Davis. Perhaps his injury issues could push them in that direction, but they won’t find a better player in return than a healthy Davis, who’s been a top-five NBA talent,” Buckley wrote. “If L.A. instead plans a summer blockbuster around Russell Westbrook and draft picks, then it needs to find players who better complement LeBron James. A net-shredder such as Buddy Hield would be perfect.

“Historically, James has done his best work when surrounded by a swarm of shooters, which makes it all the more head-scratching why this front office hasn’t acquired more of them. Hield could help correct that imbalance in a hurry. Since 2018-19, he’s been good for 3.6 threes per night on 39.4 percent shooting.”

Heavy Insider: Gordon Could Play with James & Davis

During a Facebook live segment with Steve Bulpett in February, Heavy insider Sean Deveney proposed that the Lakers trade Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn to the Rockets for Gordon. That trade can happen this summer under CBA rules.

“Eric Gordon: Obviously not a point guard, but he can handle the ball and he has been a part-time point guard before,” Deveney said. “At this point, he is pretty much a straight shooter. Injury history is dreadful and I think that is what you worry about, but I think with this team, with what they have — and you only have Talen Horton-Tucker and Kendrick Nunn package to offer — if you can give that to the Rockets and you can get back Eric Gordon, I think you live with that and cross your fingers he stays healthy.”

Gordon appeared in 57 games last season. The 2016-17 Sixth Man of the Year averaged 13.4 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 41.2% from beyond the arc.

According to a June 30 report from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers’ priority as the offseason unfolds is to address outside shooting. Last season, Los Angeles ranked 22nd in the NBA in 3-point shooting, hitting just 34.7% of its team attempts. Both Hield and Gordon could be good fits on the Lakers since they are reliable shooters from deep.

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