Lakers Engaged in Trade Talks for $20 Million Guard & $17 Million Big Man: Report

Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Lakers' Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have reportedly engaged in “on and off again” trade talks recently, according to an August 17th report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Those talks have centered around shooting guard Buddy Hield and big man Myles Turner.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has been “very active” in attempting to add more shooting and size to Los Angeles’ roster.

“The Lakers have had some on and off again talks with Indiana,” Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter. “Myles Turner, Buddy Hield. They’ve not been willing to give up two future firsts in that deal. Russell Westbrook would be in any of those deals. I think for the Lakers, they’re gonna continue to try to see if they can add some shooting, perhaps some size before the season, perhaps into the early start of the season.”

Bob Kravitz and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on July 22nd that a trade package that would have seen the Lakers trade Russell Westbrook and a first-rounder to the Pacers in return for Turner and Hield was “dead.” Indiana asked Los Angeles to include a second first-round pick.

Hield & Turner Have Been Heavily Linked to Lakers

Hield and Turner have been heavily linked to the Lakers for the past few seasons. Los Angeles nearly acquired Hield from the Sacramento Kings last offseason. However, the franchise chose to trade for Westbrook from the Washington Wizards instead.

Meanwhile, the purple and gold “have long held an interest in Turner,” according to a July 9th report from Heavy’s Sean Deveney.

“Turner, for his part, has been open to a trade out of Indiana going back two years, and he was expecting to be dealt at last season’s deadline instead of Sabonis,” Deveney reported. “A source with knowledge of the situation told, ‘Of course he would be open to a trade to the Lakers.’

“The Lakers have long held an interest in Turner, but have lacked the assets to acquire him. With Indiana seeking to retool the roster and send away veterans for draft picks, though, L.A. is in much better position to get both him and Hield. Turner is in the final year of his contract at $17.5 million, and Hield has two years remaining, at $20.5 million this year and $18.5 million next year.”

One of the greatest shooters in NBA history, Hield is 50th all-time in made 3-pointers and has never shot below 36.0% from 3-point range in a season. The Oklahoma product has career averages of 15.9 points and 4.3 rebounds in 468 regular-season games with the New Orleans Pelicans, Kings and Pacers while shooting 39.8% from beyond the arc. Hield, 29, will make $20.5 million next season.

Turner, meanwhile, is a two-time blocks champion. He has career averages of 12.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 2.3 blocks with the Pacers while shooting 48.9% from the field, 34.9% from beyond the arc and 76.8% from the free-throw line. The Texas product will earn $17.5 million in 2022-23.

Lakers Could Trade Westbrook & Talen Horton-Tucker to Pacers

In a July 14th column, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed that the Lakers trade Westbrook, swingman Talen Horton-Tucker and two future first-round picks to the Pacers for Turner, Hield and backup point guard T.J. McConnell.

“While the Lakers wouldn’t leave this exchange with a third star, they would have a deeper roster with fewer injury worries than Irving would bring,” Buckley wrote. “Turner could bulk up the frontcourt with paint protection and spot-up shooting, Hield would add a high-volume long-range threat, and McConnell could carve his niche as the bench’s offensive organizer and defensive energizer.”

The Lakers have been trying to trade Westbrook all offseason. The one-time MVP shot only 29.8% from beyond the arc last season, making him a poor fit next to LeBron James. Westbrook was also second in the NBA in turnovers.

Read More