The Los Angeles Lakers have been excellent in executing their plans to perfection this offseason. Their main aim was to keep the core together. That’s what they have been able to do. Their main concern was their breakout player, Austin Reaves, was heading towards free agency. Later, the LA side successfully retained him. Currently, the Lakers have fourteen players on their roster. Hence, there is one more spot open for another player.
Anyway, the Lakers look like a top contender to win the title next season. But the rumors suggest the LA side might want to buy Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers. Since the 2021-22 trade deadline, rumors connected the Lakers and Buddy Hield. But the Sacramento Kings traded Hield to the Pacers back then. There were even talks about a trade that would see Hield and Myles Turner join the Lakers. But that plan did not materialize. However, at present, a new situation presents itself as Buddy Hield can again see a potential trade where he joins the LA franchise.
Can Buddy Hield Join The LA Franchise Next Season?
As per the sources of The Athletic’s Shams Charania, Hield and the Pacers are discussing a trade possibility. Currently, Buddy Hield is entering the final year of his $94 million contract with the Kings for four years. Despite the sudden disconnect between Hield and the Pacers, the Lakers might not be at the forefront of the options that Indiana can trade with. However, Rob Pelinka has always been eager to sign with Buddy Hield. Despite Rob’s affinity toward a pretty good shooting guard like Hield, it might be impossible for the Lakers to buy him.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement makes it very difficult for the LA side. Moreover, the Lakers are under the first apron but over the cap. Hence, the LA side can only receive as much as 125% of their outgoing salary in case of a trade. The most important thing is matching salaries in trades for the sides above the cost cap. As per Spotrac, the Lakers have only $10.1 million remaining in outgoing salary for a trade. But to get Buddy Hield, they must reach $18.6 million before December 15.
Lakers Look Balanced With The 14-Member Roster At Present
The 17-time champions extended the contract of Reaves to another four years with a deal worth $56 million. Adding to that, Rob Pelinka and the front office also retained Rui Hachimura and D’Angelo Russell. On top of that, the Lakers extended the contract of Anthony Davis to another three years, with a contract worth $186 million. Moreover, the LA franchise can be sure of LeBron James playing in the next season. Hence, the Lakers have sorted their starting lineup for the next season. But Rob Pelinka has ensured they have some reinforcements ready as well.
Thus, the LA franchise acquired players like Gabe Vincent and Christian Wood. Moreover, chances are Vincent can replace D’Lo in the starting lineup. Other than that, Gabe Vincent basically joined the Lakers as a replacement for the position of Dennis Schroder. On the other hand, the last FIBA World Cup MVP moved to the Toronto Raptors after a successful season with the LA side. However, the Lakers look pretty deep and balanced after adding Christian Wood to the roster. Moreover, they bought Wood because Anthony Davis asked for a big center who could take some load off him.