$94 Million Sharpshooter Considered Lakers’ Dream Trade Target

Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

Getty Lakers exec Rob Pelinka

The Los Angeles Lakers need more shooters around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, which is why one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA is the team’s “dream offseason trade target,” according to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report.

In a May 26 column, Buckley opined that Indiana Pacers shooting guard Buddy Hield would be the perfect player for the Lakers to trade for this offseason.

“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.”

Hield, one of the top shooters in NBA history, is 50th all-time in made 3-pointers (1,417). He would project to mesh well with James and Davis because he can roam around the arc while the Lakers stars have the ball and spot up and hit open shots.

Lakers Almost Got Hield Last Summer

The Lakers nearly acquired Hield from the Sacramento Kings last summer. However, they chose to trade for Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards instead, which wound up being a lousy move. Westbrook was second in the NBA in turnovers and his effective field goal percentage of 47.6% was sixth-worst in the league in 2021-22.

After the Lakers defeated the Kings in January 2022, Hield said he thought he would be a Laker.

“But it didn’t happen,” Hield said. “So, I’m still here. I’m still in the league and have an opportunity to play basketball. That’s the fun part about it.”

Hield will make $20.5 million next season. He signed a four-year, $94 million contract with the Kings in 2019, but Sacramento traded the Oklahoma product to the Pacers in February as part of the blockbuster Domantas Sabonis trade. Hield averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds with the Kings and Pacers in 2021-22 while shooting 36.6% from beyond the arc.

Lakers Could Trade Westbrook & Talen Horton-Tucker to Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon & Hield

In a May 23 column, Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News proposed that the Lakers trade Westbrook, Talen Horton-Tucker and draft picks to the Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon and Hield this summer.

Brogdon and Hield would fit well on the Lakers because they are good shooters. The former is a career 37.6% shooter from deep, while the latter is at 39.8%. Brogdon, the 2016-17 Rookie of the Year, will make $22.6 million next season as part of a four-year, $85 million contract he signed with the Pacers in 2019 and a two-year, $45 million extension in 2021.

Hield has career averages of 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 468 games with the New Orleans Pelicans, Kings and Pacers. He has never shot below 36.0% from beyond the arc in a season.

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