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.