While negotiations for a trade for Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving are moving slowly, the Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly exploring other options.
ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday's episode of NBA Today that the Lakers are interested in acquiring a veteran shooting guard and already have two names in mind.
"They've looked at other deals," Wojnarowski said. "They continue, I know, to check in on Eric Gordon in Houston. That's certainly a player that interests them. A Buddy Hield in Indiana. ... Both of those players are former Rob Pelinka clients. ... So the Lakers are looking at different scenarios in the marketplace, but there's no question Kyrie Irving is one of them."
Both Gordon and Hield are on rebuilding teams, and neither of them fit with the Rockets or Pacers' respective youth movements. However, either one of them would be a welcome addition to a Los Angeles team that struggled to find consistent scoring from its role players last season.
Hield, who has a career three-point shooting percentage of 39.8, split last season between the Sacramento Kings and Pacers and averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Gordon saw his scoring average drop to 13.4 points last season, but he shot 41.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Wojnarowski noted both Pelinka and Nets general manager Sean Marks will be in Las Vegas this week for summer league, so they will likely have conversations regarding a trade for Irving. Marks also has to address star forward Kevin Durant, who sent shockwaves through the NBA when he requested a trade last week.
Irving, who picked up his $36.9 million player option for the 2022-23 season, has a shallow trade market because of his hefty salary. Los Angeles is arguably the most logical landing spot for the seven-time All-Star because it would give the Lakers a chance to shed Russell Westbrook's $47.1 million cap hit.
Los Angeles is hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 2021-22 season, so a splashy move to acquire Irving seems attractive. However, adding Hield or Gordon would fix an immediate problem and improve the Lakers' roster substantially.