The Los Angeles Lakers and Washington Wizards came to an agreement this week on a trade that would send Russell Westbrook and second-round picks in 2024 and 2028 to LA in return for Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and the No. 22 overall pick in the 2021 NBA draft.
It was a huge move with massive ramifications. So much so, in fact, that some are now calling on a league investigation into it.
Assuming everything checks out and is on the up-and-up though, the Lakers can’t rest on their laurels. They need more help, and one piece that’d do great on the roster is Sacramento Kings sharpshooter Buddy Hield — a man who set a shooting record that even Stephen Curry could not.
The big question now is: with the Lakers offloading most of their tradable assets, how do they get him?
According to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype, there is still a path to LA nabbing Hield – though it won’t be easy.
“A trade for Buddy Hield is still possible, but it would most likely have to get a free agent with full Bird rights included as part of a sign-and-trade for Hield, such as Dennis Schroder,” he wrote. “…One possibility is trading Schroeder straight up for Hield. An $18.6 million starting salary matches Hield’s $23 million salary. Anything higher reduces his outgoing salary to $15.5 million due to Base Year Compensation. The Lakers could include Alfonzo McKinnie on a partially guaranteed amount if Hield’s likely incentives upon being traded to the Lakers require a bit more salary matching.
“… More realistically, the Lakers can get Hield if this trade for Westbrook with the Wizards gets expanded into a three-team deal with the Kings. Schroder would still have to be involved likely at that $18.6 million starting salary amount, but he can be rerouted to the Wizards or a fourth interested team.”
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
So again, not easy – but doable. The big problem for the Lakers right now is the team still badly needs shooting. Westbrook is a nice piece and will take some ball-handling and scoring pressure off James, but he doesn’t fill the squad’s biggest need. Hield would.
James’ reaction to the Lakers acquiring Westbrook was great. But now he needs to push the front office to make some more big moves. Because as presently constructed, this roster still has some big spacing issues that could derail their championship aspirations.