The Los Angeles Lakers could trade three players for a $103 million star guard.
In a January 26 article called “2023 NBA Trade Watch: Best Available Wings and Their Top Landing Spots,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus wrote that the Lakers and Indiana Pacers could complete a Buddy Hield trade, with Los Angeles sending Indiana Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and Damian Jones.
“Competing executives term Buddy Hield as having been available since the Pacers picked him up in trade from the Sacramento Kings last February,” Pincus wrote. “The Pacers owe him another $18.6-$23.3 million for next season, depending on incentives. That’s not to say Indiana is desperate to get off his deal, but “open to it” is arguably the best way to term it. The Lakers could still be a consideration—team executive Rob Pelinka is Hield’s former agent. The Pacers and Lakers have discussed a Myles Turner/Hield swap for some time, though Turner is still negotiating a potential renegotiation and extension with Indiana. Even after the Hachmiura trade, the Lakers can still get to Hield’s salary with players like Lonnie Walker IV, Patrick Beverley and Damian Jones. If the Pacers are happy enough to come off his salary and consider Walker worth a tryout, perhaps the Lakers can get a deal done without needing to send draft compensation.”
Jovan Buha, Shams Charania and Sam Amick of The Athletic reported in October that the Lakers almost traded Russell Westbrook and unprotected first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 to the Pacers for Hield and Myles Turner before training camp started. The trade didn’t occur since Los Angeles president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka determined that giving up two future draft picks was too steep of a price to pay to acquire Hield and Turner.
Hield, 30, is making $20.5 million this season. He will have earned more than $103 million in his career when his contract ends following the 2023-24 campaign. The lethal sharpshooter signed a four-year, $94 million deal with the Sacramento Kings in October 2019.
Buddy Hield Would Make the Lakers More Explosive on Offense
Hield is one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. He’s a career 40.1% shooter from beyond the arc, which is good for 45th all-time. Hield is also 31st all-time in 3-point field goals.
In 50 games for the Pacers this season, Hield is averaging 17.6 points while shooting 42.4% on 3-pointers. He leads the league with 191 3s. Since the Lakers need more shooters around All-Stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis, Hield seems like the perfect player for Los Angeles to acquire before the trade deadline passes.
The Pacers could be interested in Beverley, Walker IV and Jones since Beverley and Walker IV are on expiring contracts. Jones, meanwhile, has a player option for the 2023-24 season worth $2.6 million.
LeBron James’ Pal Wants the Lakers to Get Buddy Hield
On January 3, Cuffs The Legend — who is James’ friend and an NBA analyst — tweeted that the Lakers should acquire Hield from the Pacers. Cuffs believes Hield could be the Lakers’ version of Ray Allen, who won the 2013 championship with James on the Miami Heat.
Hield has career averages of 16.1 points with the New Orleans Pelicans, Kings and Pacers. The Lakers could start Dennis Schroder, Hield, Rui Hachimura, James and Davis if Hield lands in Los Angeles.
That’s three players (Schroder, Hield, Hachimura) who can shoot from the perimeter and create their own shot off the dribble next to James and Davis.