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Lakers Trade Rumors: LA Has 'Circled Back' with Interest in Pacers' Buddy Hield

Adam WellsJune 29, 2022

Michael Hickey/Getty Images

As the Los Angeles Lakers look for ways to improve their roster this offseason, Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield is one option they are reportedly considering.

Per Matt Moore of the Action Network, the Lakers have "circled back" to Hield as a player of interest.

It's unclear if the Pacers are even looking to move Hield at this point. He's on a descending contract through the 2023-24 season that will pay him a total of $39.1 million in base salary over the next two years.

The Lakers have certainly done their scouting homework on Hield. He's been on their radar for at least 12 months.

On a January episode of his podcast, Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes (h/t CBS Sports' Sam Quinn) reported the Lakers reached out to the Sacramento Kings about a deal for Hield built around Talen Horton-Tucker leading up to the 2021 NBA draft.

According to Haynes, the Kings thought the deal was done around the same time that the Washington Wizards got involved, leading to Russell Westbrook going to Los Angeles instead of Hield.

On the same podcast, Haynes noted the Lakers were "still trying to make" the Hield-for-Horton-Tucker deal happen prior to the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

Instead, the Kings sent Hield, Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thompson to the Pacers for Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis and a 2023 second-round draft pick on Feb. 8.

The Lakers find themselves in a difficult position leading up to the start of free agency Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. They don't have any cap space and traded most of their valuable contracts to the Wizards last offseason in the Westbrook deal.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported on Wednesday's episode of Get Up that there remains a chance the Lakers could still get involved in trade talks for Kyrie Irving if things with the Brooklyn Nets don't go smoothly.

Hield certainly isn't on the same level as Irving, but he's more reliable when it comes to availability. He's missed a total of four games in six seasons. The 29-year-old is a 39.8 percent shooter from three-point range in his career.

Los Angeles is coming off a frustrating and disappointing season. It finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record, missing the playoffs for the second time in four seasons since LeBron James signed with the organization.

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