The biggest decision the Los Angeles Lakers made in the offseason was trading for Russell Westbrook. It is well known at this point that the team basically had a deal in place to acquire Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield for Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, but pivoted to the Westbrook deal, which also included Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and a first-round pick.
With the Lakers struggling this season, remaining around .500 for most of the campaign, the team is looking for ways to make upgrades to the roster and their best trade piece to make a move is that of young guard Talen Horton-Tucker. And it looks as if the Lakers are circling back to the Kings in an effort to try to acquire Hield again, but the Kings don’t seem to be interested.
On the latest edition Posted Up Podcast, Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes reported that the Lakers offered a package headlined by Horton-Tucker to Sacramento, but the Kings declined:
“League sources have told me the Lakers reached out to the Kings about a Talen Horton-Tucker package for Buddy Hield, still trying to make that happen. Obviously the Kings are like ‘no, we feel like there’s more lucrative deals out there.’ The Kings are gonna be active, they’ve got a whole bunch of people calling them, a whole bunch of teams calling them, they’re gonna be really active… I just don’t know that a package around Talen Horton-Tucker, even with picks, can bring you back another impact player right now. Maybe it can, maybe it can. But as of right now, I was told the Kings were like ‘no.’ But this is something where the Lakers, they’re talking to a lot of teams. That’s just one team that I know for sure that the connect was made and it was a no-go.”
The Kings choosing to decline the offer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as Hield likely is a player will garner interest around the league ahead of the deadline and other teams can offer more than what the Lakers can. Additionally, the Kings rightfully weren’t happy with the Lakers’ decision to move off the Hield deal in the summer as it was believed that it was a done deal.
Any deal the Lakers pull off before the trade deadline will almost definitely include Horton-Tucker as he and Kendrick Nunn are the only players aside from the team’s three superstars not on a minimum contract. But the caliber of player he is able to bring back in a deal remains to be seen as his trade value may have dropped over the season.
Vogel believes Horton-Tucker is ‘getting into a rhythm’ for Lakers
Amidst the constant rumors of possibly being traded before the trade deadline, Horton-Tucker has shown flashes of being the player Frank Vogel envisioned and the Lakers head coach believes he is finding his rhythm.
“He’s really getting into a rhythm. Slowing down his reads around the basket. Shooting the ball with confidence and focusing on taking the right shots. What we saw from him last game is what we envisioned when we signed him this offseason. We feel like he can be a guy that improves as a three-point shooter, can put a lot of pressure on the rim and can make good decisions when he gets there and give us a strong defender on the other side of the ball.”
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