While the Los Angeles Lakers added a bunch of new players to the organization in the first week of free agency, they do not appear to be done yet.
The Lakers have been in talks with the Brooklyn Nets on a potential trade for Kyrie Irving, although the Nets are currently focused on finding a trade for Kevin Durant so negotiations with L.A. have been on the back burner.
There are no other known suitors for Irving, which means the Lakers do not necessarily have to offer all of their assets to acquire him. The Nets are not believe to have interest in taking back Russell Westbrook though, so a deal may require a third team.
If talks with the Nets fall through though, then the Lakers will have to find other avenues to upgrade their roster. One potential option that has recently emerged is the Indiana Pacers as the Lakers have long had interest in Buddy Hield and Myles Turner.
While those are quality options for L.A., Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported before the Lakers’ first Las Vegas Summer League game that talks with the Pacers have gone nowhere:
“The NBA world has waited for a tangible update on what’s gonna happen with the Lakers and Kyrie Irving. What I can tell you is, meanwhile, behind the scenes, the Lakers have also talked with the Indiana Pacers about a multi-player deal. I’m told that those talks basically went nowhere. The Pacers didn’t believe that the Lakers gave good enough of an offer to continue having that conversation, and the question is, are the Lakers doing that as a viable plan B, or are they doing it because they didn’t think the Brooklyn Nets were being serious about trading Kyrie to them? Those are the kind of dominoes we have to find out as they fall moving forward. Which is the most feasible path to the Lakers getting better? Because they are not done, they need to make deals, one deal or multiple deals, between nw and training camp to get their team back to contender status.”
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers view Hield and Turner as a backup plan to Irving but may not have enough assets to get a deal done:
A second source I spoke to expressed pessimism that the Lakers would have the required assets to assemble a trade in which they acquire both Hield and Myles Turner from Indiana. Various reports have described the two Pacers as prime targets for L.A. if it is unable to assemble an Irving trade construction that Brooklyn is prepared to accept.
The Lakers are in desperate need of shooting, so it makes sense that they would inquire about Hield and Turner. But even though Westbrook’s $47 million contract is expiring after this upcoming season, it’s clear that no team is willing to take that on so the Lakers will have to get creative if they want to get a deal done.
Another option could be getting the San Antonio Spurs involved since they still have cap space, although they would have to be properly incentivized with future draft compensation to take on Westbrook.
The Lakers have their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks available to offer in trades but so far have been hesitant to do so.
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