Lakers, Pacers Reengage In Buddy Hield Trade Talks

The Lakers and Pacers have reengaged in trade talks centered around Indiana sharpshooter Buddy Hield, ESPN’s Dave McMenamin reported on Wednesday during an appearance on NBA Today (video link).

The Lakers, of course, nearly traded for Hield last summer, but instead pivoted to acquire Russell Westbrook, so the deal fell apart. However, Hield has been linked to L.A. numerous times over the past month, with reports indicating that general manager Rob Pelinka continues to express interest in the veteran guard, who was Pelinka’s former client when he was an agent.

McMenamin doesn’t specify whether the recent talks involved Westbrook this time around or not, noting that it’s possible that Talen Horton-Tucker could have been dangled by the Lakers instead. Hield’s declining contract structure — he made $23MM last season but $21.2MM in 2022/23 — makes it easier for the Lakers to match his incoming salary without including Westbrook.

Hield, 29, appeared in 81 games last season (32 starts, 30.9 MPG) split between the Kings and Pacers, averaging a combined 15.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG and 2.8 APG on .406/.366/.874 shooting. He was dealt to the Pacers as part of the trade that sent Tyrese Haliburton to Indiana and Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento.

Hield has been a poor defensive player his entire career, but his best skill is something that’s always in demand — he’s a high-volume three-point shooter who has converted 39.8% of his career attempts behind the arc, and the Lakers struggled in that department last season, ranking 22nd in the league in three-point percentage. By contrast, Westbrook shot just 29.8% from deep last season, and Horton-Tucker was even worse at 26.9%.

McMenamin, like his ESPN colleague Brian Windhorst, reiterates that there’s “no traction” on a Westbrook/Kyrie Irving swap between the Lakers and Nets.

View Comments (39)