Multiple reports have linked the LA Lakers to Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield as per recent NBA trade rumors.
The Lakers are in desperate need of shooters for next season. They converted only 11.1 threes per game in the 2020-21 campaign, the sixth-worst in the league. On top of that, the likes of LeBron James and Anthony Davis could also benefit from the addition of a player of Buddy Hield’s caliber. All these factors make adding shooters like him a top priority for Rob Pelinka and his front office.
The latest reports by The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor suggest that the LA Lakers have ‘stepped up’ their pursuit of Buddy Hield by including the no. 22 pick from this year’s draft in their proposed trade package. He wrote the following in his recent report:
“Multiple reports have indicated that the Lakers are interested in a deal for Buddy, and with fewer than 24 hours until the 2021 draft, multiple league sources say Los Angeles has stepped up their efforts by adding the no. 22 pick to a deal that’d include Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.”
Buddy Hield has been at the peak of his three-point shooting prowess in recent years. Last season he knocked down 282 threes, the second-best record in the league, just behind Stephen Curry’s tally of 337. Hield averaged four threes per game on 10.2 attempts.
NBA Trade Rumors: Exploring why LA Lakers are aggressive in their pursuit of Buddy Hield
The LA Lakers need to make major changes to their squad to return to the top of the Western Conference. They have limited resources, though, which makes it important for the Lakers to be spot on with their player acquisitions in the offseason.
The LA Lakers are over the salary cap at the moment and have only seven players under contract heading into the 2021 NBA Draft. Among their best trading assets are Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 pick from the 2021 draft.
Harrell has a player option, though, and can only be included in packages if he opts into his contract for next season. Considering these factors, it makes it difficult for the LA Lakers to pursue top-tier talent in the market.
Buddy Hield did not have a great stint with the Sacramento Kings as such, but that doesn’t mean he can’t help the LA Lakers improve. Teams rely heavily on three-point shooting in the NBA. A title-contender like the Lakers needs it the most at the moment. If they can acquire a player like Hield with the resources they have, it would be a huge win for the franchise.
As per NBA trade rumors, Buddy Hield hasn’t generated a lot of interest from teams around the league. With less competition in the market, this seems to be the ideal time for the LA Lakers to step up in their pursuit to sign him. That explains why they could be aggressive in acquiring Hield this offseason.