wwThe Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings have reportedly discussed a trade that would shake up both teams this offseason. With the Lakers looking to improve their roster following an underwhelming season from Kyle Kuzma and other role players, and the Kings looking to move a frustrated Buddy Hield, the two sides may have a match in one another.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Sunday that the Lakers and Kings have engaged in trade talks in a deal for Hield that would see the Lakers’ package center around Kuzma:
The Lakers and Sacramento Kings have discussed a deal centered around guard Buddy Hield, sources tell The Athletic. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma would be involved in a potential package, per sources.
In the build-up to the offseason, the Lakers have been linked with a number of playmaking guards, namely point guards like Kyle Lowry and Chris Paul, with a focus on taking pressure off of LeBron James and Anthony Davis offensively. Hield, though, would present a different dynamic that could alleviate pressure on the pairing.
Last season, Hield shot 39.1% from three, and is a career 40.6% shooter from range. At his peak, Hield shot 43.1% from beyond the arc in 2017-18 before then shooting 42.7% the following season, helping him earn a four-year, $94-million extension.
Seemingly since signing that extension, though, Hield and the Kings have not seen eye-to-eye. Hield came off the bench for portions of the 2019-20 season behind Bogdan Bogdanovic, which fueled him reportedly requesting a trade. Bogdanovic’s departure last season to Atlanta opened up a starting spot for Hield, leading to him shooting a career-high 10.2 3-point attempts per game while scoring 16.6 points per game, his lowest total since his sophomore season.
Hield, like Kuzma, has multiple years left on his current contract, though he is guaranteed for longer and at a much higher figure. Hield is set to make $22.7 million next season before being due $39.7 million over the next two seasons. That would mean the Lakers may have to throw in another player to make the salaries closer to matching, and well, we may know who they would potentially include there:
Adrian Wojnarowski says the Lakers have offered KCP and Kuzma to "almost every team" in the league pic.twitter.com/e38eTZeTgB— Jacob Rude (@JacobRude) July 25, 2021
Again, similar to Kuzma, though, Hield’s stock is low given his recent displeasure with the team, a down season last year and the emergence of rookie Tyrese Haliburton making him more expendable. A change in scenery for the two players could allow both a fresh start and a chance to recapture their previous best form.
Notably, Hield is a former client of Rob Pelinka’s from his days as a player agent, while Kuzma experienced the best seasons of his career under Kings coach Luke Walton. Last year, the Kings reportedly engaged the Lakers in talks for Kuzma before being rebuffed.
Hield could certainly help the Lakers as well, but with them clearly chasing bigger fish currently, this deal may not be the team’s first priority.