Buddy Hield

Latest On Lakers’ Buddy Hield Trade Talks

A weekend report indicated that the Lakers and Kings have discussed a potential trade centered around Buddy Hield, and it sounds like those talks may be gaining some momentum.

After Sam Amick of The Athletic reported on Wednesday that the Hield scenario is the “most promising” of the possible deals the Lakers are pursuing, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote late last night that L.A. has stepped up its efforts to get something done, adding that the talks have gained “real traction.”

According to O’Connor, the Lakers’ offer to the Kings would include the No. 22 pick in tonight’s draft, along with Montrezl Harrell and either Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Harrell technically isn’t eligible to be traded at this point, since he has yet to make a decision on his $9.7MM player option for the 2021/22 season. He’d have to pick up that option to be dealt, so he’ll have to consider several factors — if he opts out, he’d get to choose his next team, but he may not be able to match his option salary, whereas if he opts in, he may immediately be dealt to Sacramento or another team.

As O’Connor outlines, the proposed trade makes some sense for both teams. The Lakers could use a sharpshooter and secondary play-maker on the wing, and Hield certainly fits that bill, having knocked down 4.0 three-pointers per game at a 39.1% clip in 2020/21. His contract is pricey, but not especially unfavorable for a shooter of his caliber — he’s owed $62.5MM over the next three years, and his salary declines each season.

As for the Kings, they still have interest in re-signing center Richaun Holmes, but Holmes is believed to be seeking a four-year, $80MM deal, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California. Armed with only the big man’s Early Bird rights, Sacramento will have a very hard time getting anywhere near that asking price without dumping some salary to create cap space. If the Kings expect to lose Holmes, they could view Harrell as a solid alternative to step into that role of a rim-running center.

O’Connor’s report suggests the Kings would likely prefer Kuzma to Caldwell-Pope as the second player in the deal, but either one would fit into Sacramento’s rotation. Caldwell-Pope could play a three-and-D role, while Kuzma would see minutes at the four. The Kings are reportedly exploring trading Marvin Bagley III, which would open up more playing time in the frontcourt for a player like Kuzma.

The Lakers have shopped Kuzma and Caldwell-Pope to many teams around the NBA this month, per a weekend report. According to J. Michael of The Indianapolis Star (Twitter link), the Pacers, Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Jazz, and Knicks are among the teams that have been offered Kuzma in various trade scenarios.

If the Lakers and Kings want to move forward on a deal involving Hield, we can probably expect an agreement to be reached later today so that Sacramento is the team making the No. 22 pick. In that scenario, the deal may not be made official until the new league year begins next week for cap reasons.

Amick’s Latest: Lakers, Hield, Sixers, Simmons, Lillard

Of all the trade and free agent scenarios the Lakers are rumored to be considering, a deal with the Kings for Buddy Hield seems to be the “most promising” so far, a source tells Sam Amick of The Athletic.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that Hield is the Lakers’ top target this offseason, but it indicates that a trade with the Kings is a more realistic option for L.A. than acquiring a higher-level player like Chris Paul or Kyle Lowry, given the team’s cap constraints. A Hield trade would involve Kyle Kuzma and may require Montrezl Harrell to exercise his $9.7MM player option in order to be included in the package, writes Amick.

Here’s more on Hield, along with a few other tidbits from Amick related to free agency and the trade market:

  • The Lakers aren’t the only team with some interest in Hield. A source with knowledge of the trade discussions tells Amick that the Sixers have also displayed interest in the veteran sharpshooter (unrelated to a Ben Simmons deal), and other teams are believed to have talked to the Kings about him as well. Amick believes Hield is a good candidate to be on the move this summer.
  • It looks increasingly likely that the Sixers will move Simmons will this offseason, according to Amick, who says one source identified the Heat, Raptors, and Wizards as some of the most likely landing spots for Simmons. Washington would probably only be a realistic trade partner if Bradley Beal is in play, however. Meanwhile, Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com expresses skepticism that any deal sending Simmons to Miami would be a good fit for both the Heat and Sixers.
  • Sources tell Amick that Damian Lillard is expected to continue focusing on earning gold with Team USA for the time being and will reassess the Trail Blazers‘ roster later in the offseason before making any decisions about his future.

O’Connor’s Latest: Nuggets, Grizzlies, Warriors, Kings, Hornets

Within his latest mock draft, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer confirms a few items we’ve heard elsewhere in recent days. According to O’Connor, Jalen Green‘s workout with the Pistons last week was “outstanding,” the Jazz are willing to attach the No. 30 pick to Derrick Favors in a potential trade, and league sources widely expect Scottie Barnes to be the Magic‘s pick at No. 5.

O’Connor also reiterates that the Rockets continue to explore moving up to No. 1 and says the Thunder have made efforts to trade up, with Green, Cade Cunningham, and Evan Mobley among their presumed targets.

Here are a few more notes of interest from O’Connor’s latest article:

  • League sources tell O’Connor that the Nuggets are trying to move up from No. 26 into the top 20, dangling young bench players or future draft assets in those talks.
  • Although O’Connor confirms that the Grizzlies are interested in Josh Giddey after trading up to No. 10, he says Memphis could try to move up even further, with an eye on Jonathan Kuminga or James Bouknight.
  • Giddey, Kuminga, and Bouknight could also be in the mix for the Warriors at No. 7, according to O’Connor, who says Giddey is thought to be one of Golden State’s “main targets.” O’Connor adds that Keon Johnson‘s ceiling may be the Warriors’ pick at No. 7.
  • The Kings continue to be active in shopping the No. 9 pick, Buddy Hield, and Marvin Bagley III in separate trade scenarios, per O’Connor.
  • League sources continue to connect the Hornets, who will be seeking a center this summer, to Myles Turner, Richaun Holmes, and Nerlens Noel, according to O’Connor.

Woj’s Latest: Kawhi, Simmons, Schröder, Kings, Lowry, Nets, More

There’s no indication that Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard wants to leave Los Angeles as a free agent this offseason, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in Sunday’s televised Woj & Lowe special (video link). However, there is a belief that Leonard is at risk of missing the entire 2021/22 season following his ACL surgery earlier this month, says Wojnarowski.

That nugget was one of several that Wojnarowski and fellow ESPN reporter Zach Lowe shared during their half-hour special and the bonus YouTube segments that followed. We’ve already passed along several of their other insights, including some draft-related rumors, the latest updates on Bradley Beal‘s status, and the fact that the Lakers have shopped Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to many teams around the NBA.

However, the ESPN duo dropped several more notes and rumors during their special. We’re using the space below to round up a few of the most interesting ones:

  • The Sixers have engaged in Ben Simmons trade talks and are making and receiving offers, says Wojnarowski (video link). However, Woj thinks Philadelphia will be patient, noting that Simmons is under contract for four more years, which “opens up the landscape” for possible trade partners. The 76ers are looking for the best possible player they could get back in a Simmons deal, Woj adds.
  • Despite the fact that the Lakers have been linked to so many other point guards in advance of free agency, Wojnarowski believes there’s still a deal to be made with Dennis Schröder (video link).
  • The Kings have talked to teams in both the West and East about Buddy Hield, according to Wojnarowski (video link), who says the club has also received plenty of trade interest in Harrison Barnes. Woj would be surprised if Barnes is dealt though.
  • In a discussion of free agent point guards, Wojnarowski (video link) said that he anticipates a “big market” for Raptors star Kyle Lowry, who could receive offers in the neighborhood of $25-30MM per year, and that the Bulls and Lonzo Ball would be an ideal match in a perfect world, but his restricted FA status could complicate matters. Woj also thinks luxury tax concerns will prevent the Jazz from simply re-signing Mike Conley and keeping everyone else on their roster (video link).
  • The Nets hope to lock up Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden to contract extensions and are optimistic that Blake Griffin will want to return, per Wojnarowski (video link). Jeff Green may be trickier to re-sign, however, as he’ll likely seek more than the veteran’s minimum. Woj and Lowe both identify the Bucks as a possible suitor for Green if he leaves Brooklyn.

Kings, Lakers Have Discussed Possible Buddy Hield Trade

The Lakers, not satisfied with their first-round playoff exit in 2021, are apparently on the hunt for some shooting help in the offseason. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Los Angeles has talked with the Kings about a possible trade for shooting guard Buddy Hield.

Charania reports that such a deal that would likely see L.A. reserve power forward Kyle Kuzma headed to Sacramento, a team loaded with power forwards. The Lakers have received interest in Kuzma from multiple teams, Charania adds.

Kuzma inked a three-year, $40MM contract extension during the 2020 offseason that kicks in during the 2020/21 season. He averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG on .443/.361/.691 shooting in 68 games (28.7 MPG) in 2020/21.

As for Hield, he had a stellar individual season in Sacramento, averaging 16.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 3.6 APG, with a shooting line of .406/.391/.846. The 28-year-old swingman is under team control through the 2023/24 season, on a declining deal that will pay him $22.8MM this year, $20.8MM in 2022/23, and $18.9MM in its final year.

Several Lakers guards are unrestricted or restricted free agents this summer, so adding a sharpshooter in his prime with the pedigree of Hield to help spread the floor and allow Lakers superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis room to operate makes sense on paper.

According to Charania, pursuing a Hield trade is just one possible path the Lakers could go down, as the team is also expected to show interest in free agent guards like Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Spencer Dinwiddie. All three are said to be interested in playing in L.A.

Kings Unlikely To Include De’Aaron Fox In A Ben Simmons Offer

The Kings are among the “known suitors” who would like to get Ben Simmons from the Sixers, but they aren’t likely to part with De’Aaron Fox, sources tell Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee.

Numerous reports have stated that Philadelphia is putting a high asking price on Simmons and is hoping to get an All-Star player in return. Fox hasn’t been an All-Star yet, but he has been extremely productive in his first four NBA seasons and is part of the young foundation in Sacramento. He averaged 25.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists in 58 games this year while shooting 47.7% from the field and 32.2% from three-point range. He’s also under contract for the next five years.

Anderson states that the Kings are more likely to offer a package that includes shooting guard Buddy Hield, power forward Marvin Bagley III, and multiple future first-round picks. A league source told Anderson that Sacramento would have to give up at least three first-rounders to make the deal work, while another source said the Sixers wouldn’t have any interest unless Fox or rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton is part of the offer.

Hield would fill a need for the Sixers, who ranked 23rd in the league in made three-pointers this season, Anderson notes. He’s a career 40.6% shooter from beyond the arc and holds the league record for most three-pointers made in his first five seasons.

Bagley is a talented young player who so far is best known for being selected ahead of Luka Doncic and Trae Young in the 2018 draft. He has missed a combined 108 games due to injury in first three NBA seasons and has been part of public disputes with the Kings about playing time and his future with the organization.

Pacific Notes: S. Barnes, C. Thomas, Hield, Williams

Versatile Florida State point forward Scottie Barnes possesses some of the same qualities that make Warriors veteran Draymond Green such a valuable teammate, writes Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. Barnes also is an unselfish player who prioritizes defense and winning over personal statistics, and could be an intriguing successor to Green if he falls to Golden State’s No. 7 pick in the upcoming 2021 draft.

Though Barnes was a below-average jump shooter in college, Andrews notes that his Green-esque impact could offset his modest scoring contributions. In his lone season for FSU, the 6’9″ Barnes averaged 10.3 PPG, 4.1 APG and 4.0 RPG, with a shooting line of .503/.275/.621.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • LSU guard Cameron Thomas is scheduled to work out for the Warriors this Wednesday, tweets Nick Friedell of ESPN. The 6’4″ guard averaged 23.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG and 1.4 APG during the 2020/21 NCAA season. He posted a shooting line of .406/.325/.882.
  • Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield faces a potentially tenuous future with the club, as he touched on in a podcast interview with Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes“I see my name in trade rumors, but I can’t control all that,” Hield said. “My job is to go out there and play basketball and everybody’s goal is to get to the playoffs and win a championship.” The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006. Hield has two years left on the four-year, $86MM contract extension he signed with Sacramento during the 2019 offseason.
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams notes that Nets head coach Steve Nash, a former two-time MVP while a point guard for Phoenix, reached out to him over text during the playoffs, tweets Mark Medina of USA Today. “It spoke to me about how those guys feel about the Suns and the fanbase,” Williams said.

Pacific Notes: Simmons, Wiseman, Green, Kerr

It’s unlikely the Kings could put together a trade package that would allow them to acquire Ben Simmons from the Sixers, according to James Ham of NBC Sports Bay Area. Philadelphia is seeking an All-Star caliber player for Simmons and Sacramento is unlikely to make Tyrese Haliburton or De’Aaron Fox available.

Ham speculates the Kings could try to package Buddy Hield, Marvin Bagley and the No. 9 overall pick or Harrison Barnes, Bagley and the same pick and see if Philadelphia would be interested.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Warriors can take their cue from the Suns in order to get the most out of James Wiseman, Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. Deandre Ayton is a major reason why Phoenix advanced to the Finals, mainly due to the fact he’s become a prolific rebounder while getting fewer touches on offense. The Warriors need their bigs to thrive near the rim and help them get extra possessions, and that should be Wiseman’s main focus, Andrews adds.
  • Suns assistant Willie Green is reportedly a candidate for all three remaining head coaching jobs around the league and Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic takes a closer look at how Green would fit in with the Wizards, Pelicans and Magic. Green isn’t in a rush to get a head coaching job. “It’s definitely a goal, but I don’t feel like a need to chase that goal,” he said.
  • With Draymond Green playing for Team USA and Steve Kerr on the coaching staff, the Warriors could reap long-term benefits by building relationships with star players that could eventually land in Golden State, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area speculates. The Olympics present a low-key method for franchises to recruit players, Poole adds.

Pacific Notes: CP3, Lakers Cap, Hield, THT

Suns All-Star point guard Chris Paul has a $44MM player option for the 2021/22 season, but John Hollinger of The Athletic wonders if the 35-year-old may consider an extension before the year ends or possibly a Gordon Hayward-esque move during the offseason.

Hollinger suggests that, just as the Hornets forward did during the 2020 offseason, Paul could opt out of the final year of his extant deal this summer for longer-term money, at a slightly lower yearly number.

Hollinger expects ambitious clubs like the Mavericks, Heat, Knicks and even Pelicans to be interested in Paul, who is still seeking a title in his 16th NBA season out of Wake Forest.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Should the Lakers want to retain new center Andre Drummond, reserve big man Montrezl Harrell (likely to opt out of the $9.7MM second year of his current deal in the offseason), point guard Dennis Schröder, and guards Talen Horton-Tucker and Alex Caruso, they could face significant cap challenges, as Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report outlines. Pincus notes that the best route to retaining all three would be if the Lakers could get Drummond, currently grappling with a toe injury, to agree to a team-friendly deal worth the taxpayer mid-level exception (worth a projected $5.9MM).
  • The NBA announced on Monday (Twitter link) that it has fined Kings swingman Buddy Hield $20K after an exchange of words with referees during a 129-128 defeat to the Bucks on April 3.
  • Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma is looking for more court awareness out of shooting guard Talen Horton-Tucker, writes Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register. “He’s been blessed with a gift to be able to get into the paint anytime he wants,” Kuzma raved. “With that being said, getting into the paint means reaching opportunities to find other guys shots.”

Pacific Notes: Oubre, Ranadive, Craig, Hill

In previewing trade possibilities facing the Warriors during the final week before the March 25 deadline, Anthony Slater of The Athletic explains the appeal wing Kelly Oubre Jr. could hold for other teams around the league.

Slater notes that Oubre, a young, athletic wing with upside left at age 25, is currently earning $14MM in the last year of his contract, and could be used in a trade to acquire an interesting player along the lines of shooting guards Victor Oladipo and Evan Fournier (both also on expiring deals), small forward Aaron Gordon, or restricted free agent point guard Lonzo Ball.

There’s more out of the Pacific Division:

  • Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive apparently is averse to surrendering to a full-on tank this season, and hopes to remain semi-competitive by retaining two of the team’s most trade-friendly players, Harrison Barnes and Buddy Hield, Howard Beck of Sports Illustrated asserted on the podcast Locked On Kings. Dan Feldman of NBC Sports Bay Area contends that “staying competitive” is not really much of an option as, with a 16-24 record, Sacramento is currently well below the threshold to compete for even a top-10 record in the Western Conference, and thus an appearance in a play-in game.
  • Suns head coach Monty Williams expressed his excitement about the potential on-court fit of new reserve guard Torrey Craig, Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic writes. “He’s a big, strong wing defender who can guard ones and twos and power forwards and can switch onto a bigger guy,” Williams raved. “We liked him when he was in Denver. Hated competing against him because he was such a good defender and a tough guy for sure.”
  • The Clippers appear in need of a point guard upgrade. Brian Windhorst of ESPN (video link) thinks that Thunder veteran George Hill could be a fit, but that a player at the level of Lou Williams may need to be sent back in a deal. “He’s a guy who played for [LA head coach Tyronn] Lue in Cleveland and could fit there, but it would probably take a trade of Lou Williams to get that to happen,” Windhorst said.