Lakers Rumors: Montrezl Harrell Opting In To Player Option, Paving Way For Potential Buddy Hield Trade
Montrezl Harrell, Lakers
Adam Pantozzi-NBAE

The 2021 NBA Draft is on Thursday night and one of the teams that’s most active on the trade market is the Los Angeles Lakers as they look to improve their roster in hopes of getting back into championship contention.

The name that they’ve been linked to the most is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings, who would fill their great need for shooting.

If the Lakers are to complete a deal with the Kings then the headliner going back to Sacramento would be Kyle Kuzma. And for salary matching purposes, they would also need to include someone else like Montrezl Harrell.

Harrell holds a player option for the 2021-22 season though and would need to pick it up in order to be included in any deal. He has until July 31 to officially make a decision but according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, he is choosing to pick it up, which could pave the way for the Hield trade:

The Lakers have also reportedly discussed including the No. 22 overall pick in their offer and the timing of this Harrell news makes it seem like that would be the case even though Wojnarowski didn’t include the pick in his Tweet.

If there’s no pick involved in the deal then there’s no rush to get it done on Thursday night. Regardless though, all signs are pointing towards Hield winding up in a Laker uniform and Kuzma and Harrell’s tenures with the team coming to an end.

DeRozan as Lakers’ backup plan?

If the Lakers are unable to acquire Hield then it seems like their backup plan is DeMar DeRozan of the San Antonio Spurs as they reportedly have interest in Kuzma as part of a sign-and-trade.

That would hard-cap the Lakers though, so it seems to be that Hield is their top option and DeRozan is a fallback.

Another potential player L.A. is targeting is Russell Westbrook, although that deal would likely have to include a package of Kuzma or Harrell as well so it will be interesting to see which option they ultimately choose.

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