Proposed Trade Has Lakers Sending 2 Vets to Land 3-Point Champion

buddy hield

Getty Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield.

The Los Angeles Lakers have some big decisions to make this offseason. Two players whose futures are up in the air are Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma. The former saw his role lessen as the season went on and disappeared from the lineup in the playoffs. The latter had plenty of time on the court but just couldn’t be a consistent threat on offense for the team.

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report believes that the Lakers could package Kuzma and Harrell and send them to the Sacramento Kings for guard Buddy Hield:

The Lakers, meanwhile, need to glitter up their offense. Buddy Hield doesn’t provide a ton of self-creation, but he’s one of the best shooters alive. Since entering the league, he is one of just 17 players putting down more than 40 percent of their triples on at least 1,000 total attempts.

Footing the bill on his contract balance—three years, $62.5 million guaranteed—isn’t a mindless decision. But he is the perfect complement to an offense that seems married to playing two bigs, and his salary falls short of back-breaking when it’s on a declining scale.

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This Could Be a Solid Trade for Lakers

For this deal to work, the Lakers would need Harrell to pick up his player option. That’s not a guarantee considering he obviously wasn’t happy with his role this season. However, he may not be able to get $9.5 million again after the lackluster season. If he does decide to pick up the option, Los Angeles should try to move him because he wasn’t a good fit with the team.

Packaging him with Kuzma for a player like Hield would be a wise move. The Lakers need a dependable third scorer who can knock down threes. Hield is one of the best in the business when it comes to shooting. He’s hit 40.6% of his 3-point attempts over his career and was last year’s 3-point contest champion. He’d be a strong fit in Los Angeles. The Kings have shown interest in Kuzma in the past so this deal may not be all that far-fetched.

Kuzma Believes He Can Still Be All-Star

Opinions regarding Kuzma are at an all-time low right now. He was supposed to develop into a third star for the Lakers but has just been a serviceable bench player. He turns 26-years-old this month so it’s fair to wonder if he’s already reached his ceiling. He doesn’t believe he has. He still believes that he can be an All-Star.

“I definitely can. I definitely believe that, too. I don’t really care what nobody thinks or says. I know myself, and I know my ability. It’s hard to be consistent in an inconsistent role. I’m excited for a more consistent space next year,” Kuzma told Bleacher Report.

“I’ve done a great job every offseason of trying to build something and add something to my game. I’ve turned myself into a great defender. My rookie year, I was a stop sign on defense. I didn’t really stop anybody. Now, whether it’s elite wings, 4 men, even point guards and shooting guards, I have the ability to guard four positions now and really affect the game on that end of the court.”

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