As the Los Angeles Lakers look to improve their roster for the 2021-22 season, one potential deal has set itself apart from the rest as being an actual possibility.
The Lakers have been linked to Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield for a while now and with the 2021 NBA Draft set for Thursday night, a deal could be on the horizon.
In trade talks with the Kings, the Lakers have discussed both Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell in order to match salaries and recent reports indicate they’re even willing to add the No. 22 overall pick to that offer in order to get a deal done.
The Kings haven’t accepted that offer yet though, so Rob Pelinka is continuing to do his due diligence to find other impact players. One that the Lakers have been linked to for a while as well is DeMar DeRozan, which is a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs.
Considering the Lakers lack cap space, the only deal they can sign DeRozan to outright is the mid-level exception, which may not be enough to acquire a player of his caliber.
The other option would be a sign-and-trade with the Spurs getting something in return, and according to NBA insider Marc Stein, they have interest in Kuzma:
The Lakers' talks with Sacramento on a potential deal headlined by Buddy Hield and Kyle Kuzma are the most serious so far, league sources say, but San Antonio is also believed to have interest in Kuzma in possible sign-and-trade scenarios involving free agent-to-be DeMar DeRozan.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 29, 2021
The Spurs having interest in Kuzma doesn’t come as a huge surprise considering he has a previously relationship and played well under Gregg Popovich for Team USA.
L.A. doing a sign-and-trade for DeRozan would hard-cap them though, which would put huge restrictions in place when filling out the rest of the roster. For that reason, it seems that the Lakers would prefer to trade for Hield, although that obviously would require Sacramento to accept their offer.
While no deal has taken place yet, if the Lakers want to include the No. 22 pick then something would have to take place on Thursday night before a player gets selected and the pick loses value.
Lakers interested in Shamet
One other shooter the Lakers have reported interest in is Landry Shamet of the Brooklyn Nets. Since he isn’t the same level of player as Hield or DeRozan, the cost would be lower so it makes for a solid backup plan if the Lakers can’t make a deal with either the Kings or Spurs.
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