If there’s one thing the Los Angeles Lakers are short of, it’s time. Unlike other teams in the East who are expected to be good for years to come, Anthony Davis’ uncertain future and LeBron James’ aging body have given the Lakers a very short Championship window.
It’s now or never for the team and making a trade between now and the start of next season may be the only way to truly maximize their title chances.
In a list of trade ideas, Bleacher Report proposed a particularly interesting scenario for the Lakeshow — one that could bring a young, sharpshooting guard to the franchise.
The Los Angeles Lakers have two massive stars in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Their third-best player is Kyle Kuzma, but he is also a forward, which doesn’t make him an ideal fit. They could use an elite backcourt shooter who can thrive off the attention paid to both James and Davis.
Enter Buddy Hield, who the Sacramento Kings benched midseason despite giving him an extension last summer that will pay up to $106 million. The Kings are intent on re-signing Bogdan Bogdanovic, who plays the same position as Hield and will be a restricted free agent this offseason.
Obviously, Hield would be a huge acquisition. As a perimeter shooter and ball-handler, he’d be an ideal fit next to James and Davis and could thrive in a new, title-contending environment.
If the two Pacific Division rivals are willing to deal (Kings executive Vlade Divac was twice a Laker), Sacramento could get out of Hield’s contract while adding depth from the Lakers, starting with Kuzma but also including veterans like Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Quinn Cook.
The Lakers would get their shooter. The Kings would erase their over-investment in Hield and add Kuzma with relatively inexpensive depth.
Buddy is averaging 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game on 42% shooting this season. And while he was the source of a lot of locker-room trouble, being under the leadership of LeBron might set him right.
If you’re L.A., these are the types of things you must consider as the days and weeks continue to fly by.