NBA Rumors: Lakers Pursuing Buddy Hield In Deal Centered Around Talen Horton-Tucker

Buddy Hield
Wikimedia | Doppelganger.decoy

Ernesto Cova

For years, it's seemed like Buddy Hield has been destined to join the Los Angeles Lakers. He's been a rumored trade target for the purple and gold nearly every season, yet something always comes in the way.

The Lakers had a deal in place with the Sacramento Kings to land him, then Rob Pelinka traded for Russell Westbrook instead. But now, finally, the former Texas Longhorns star could find his way to Southern California.

Lakers Still Want Hield

Buddy Hield
Giphy | NBA

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Lakers are still in the mix for the sharpshooter. So, they're working on a package centered on Talen Horton-Tucker to get him:

"It is likewise believed that the teams have discussed a deal focused on Hield, without Turner involved, that would still require the Lakers to furnish draft compensation to Indiana’s liking as part of a package centered around Talen Horton-Tucker," Stein wrote.

Pacers Get A Young Player

Talen Horton-Tucker
Wikimedia | Shakeydeal33

Multiple scouts were quite high on Horton-Tucker before the start of last season. He had an underwhelming year and failed to step up when his team needed him, but the upside is there and he may only need a change of scenery to thrive.

Horton-Tucker fits the Indiana Pacers' timeline. He's young and could be a deadly scorer out of the backcourt next to Tyrese Haliburton while Chris Duarte takes a step forward as their primary floor-stretcher.

Lakers Get Their Shooter

Buddy Hield
Wikimedia | Renamed user 150tcy3tya3ql

LeBron James needs to have shooters around him to thrive. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook aren't shooters, and the Lakers' roster doesn't have what it takes to keep up in the Western Conference built the way it is.

Hield is one of the elite three-point shooters in the Association. He can shoot off the dribble, catch-and-shoot, and create his own shot at will. He'd be a legit 25+ PPG scoring threat with James finding him at the top of the key and could blossom into the dominant scorer some thought he'd be coming out of college.

They Have No Choice

Talen Horton-Tucker
Wikimedia | Sportzeditz

Even if Horton-Tucker winds to be great, the Lakers can't hold on to him and continue to wait until he breaks out. As for the Pacers, Hield is entering his 30s and will be an unrestricted free agent next season, so there's no point in holding on to him.

Separately, neither of these players could fetch a big return. But this is the ultimate win-win scenario for two teams with opposite aspirations for the 2022-23 season.