As currently constructed, the Los Angeles Lakers are not a title-contending team despite their efforts to get younger and more athletic.
Outside shooting remains a pressing need for the Lakers and with Russell Westbrook still on the roster, that could prove to be their demise if they’re unable to make additional moves. Los Angeles has been linked to several shooters, most prominently Buddy Hield and Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.
It was reported earlier that talks between the Lakers and Pacers for Hield and Turner are dead, but according to Evan Sidery of Basketball News Indiana would greenlight a deal if Los Angeles throws in their 2029 first round pick:
Current offer on the table is Russell Westbrook + 2027 1st for Myles Turner + Buddy Hield, per @bkravitz on @JMV1070 today. The Pacers will accept if the Lakers also include their 2029 1st. https://t.co/8lmbWz3C03
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) July 22, 2022
The original report was from Bob Kravitz of The Athletic, who confirmed that talks have happened but may be idle until L.A. adds the second pick:
Just for deeper clarification: The Lakers and Pacers both exchanged trade concepts involving Indiana’s Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, with L.A. presenting a package of draft capital to Indiana, per source. The sides engaged but the talks appear idle for now.
— Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) July 22, 2022
The cost of moving Westbrook’s $47 million expiring seems to be one first-round pick and from the Pacers’ vantage point, so another first-rounder would be enough to pry away both Hield and Turner. However, it can be argued that Hield is a negative asset considering his defensive limitations and contract while Turner is injury prone and is eligible for an extension.
In any deal, the Lakers are negotiating from a position of weakness because the league knows they are desperate to move off of Westbrook and thus the asking price for useful rotation players will be high. On the flip side, one can argue that trading for Hield and Turner only make the Lakers marginally better and thus aren’t worth the cost of two first-round picks.
All signs point to L.A. waiting out what happens with Kyrie Irving before pivoting to a deal with the Pacers. While frustrating for Lakers Nation, the best course of action would be to wait and see how Irving’s situation plays out and hope that the Nets finally decide to move him.
No traction of Russell Westbrook-Kyrie Irving deal
So far, Brooklyn has been hesitant to deal Irving until a resolution on Kevin Durant occurs. Per a recent report, there has been no traction on any potential Westbrook-Irving trades which is why the Lakers have re-engaged the Pacers on deals involving Hield and Turner.
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