Latest On Lakers Exploring Trade For Pacers’ Buddy Hield

The Lakers have been in search of a perimeter shooter to place next to LeBron James, and they once thought Buddy Hield could be that guy.Buddy Hield

Apparently, they think so again.

Per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the Lakers have re-engaged the Pacers on a potential trade that would sent Hield to LA. Hield, of course, was just acquired by the Pacers from the Kings in February, as part of the deal involving Domantas Sabonis.

Last summer, the Lakers also explored a Hield trade, back when he was still with the Kings. The Lakers worked out a deal for Russell Westbrook instead — and we all know how that went.

Now, the Lakers are looking to move Westbrook. That said, it’s highly doubtful the Pacers would have an interest. So if the Lakers want to move Westbrook to land Hield, it would highly likely have to involve a third team.

“The Pacers have plenty of cap space, so they theoretically could absorb him by sending Hield out, or they could match his salary by including Myles Turner,” wrote Sam Quinn of CBS Sports. “There is no indication yet that they are willing to do that.”

Added Kurt Helin of NBC Sports: “However, the Pacers would not even consider taking on Westbrook in either situation unless the Lakers throw in their 2027 or 2029 first-round pick, likely unprotected (for Hield and Turner it may take more than just the one first). So far, the Lakers have been hesitant to put either of those picks in any trade (ultimately, they will have to if they want to trade Westbrook).”

Granted, the Pacers are seemingly on the cusp of an all-out rebuild with the likes of Tyrese Haliburton, rookie Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte as the primary members of the backcourt. That makes Hield and Turner logical trade chips.

But that doesn’t mean both — or either — will be on their way to LA.

Hield, 29, is 6-foot-4 and fared well in Indiana, averaging 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 24 appearances. He also shot about 45 percent from the field.

Along with Hield, the Lakers have also been linked to veteran Rockets guard Eric Gordon, who is believed to be very available. Houston, after all, is going through a rebuild of its own.

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