The Lakers are looking to upgrade their supporting cast around LeBron James and Anthony Davis. It looks like they are zeroing in on a potential target on the day of the 2021 NBA Draft,
That would be Buddy Hield. Rumors had previously connected the Lakers to the Kings sharpshooter, and now it looks like Los Angeles could make a move for him.
The Lakers have “stepped up efforts” to add Hield to their roster ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, Kevin O’Connor of “The Ringer” reports. They’re offering two players and the No. 22 pick for his services.
Multiple reports have indicated that the Lakers are interested in a deal for Buddy, and with fewer than 24 hours until the 2021 draft, multiple league sources say Los Angeles has stepped up its efforts by adding the No. 22 pick to a deal that’d include Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Hield to L.A. now has real traction, which would give the Lakers what they need: shooting. Elite shooting.
Certainly, the Lakers need shooting help. Last season, the team shot just 34.9 percent from 3-point range. That tied with the Timberwolves for 23rd in the league. Hield, meanwhile, made 39.1 percent of his shots last year and is a career 40.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc.
Hield isn’t just a shooter, though. He also averaged a career-high 3.6 assists per game last year, so he could help provide the Lakers with a bit of playmaking. It wouldn’t be as much as Rajon Rondo provided them during the title-winning 2019-20 campaign. Nor would he be as dynamic of a distributor as Dennis Schroder, who averaged 5.8 assists per game with Los Angeles last year.
Still, it’s another way that Hield can contribute on offense. And perhaps if he’s dishing to upper-echelon players such as James and Davis, he could be poised to set another career-high in that category.
The Lakers will have to pay a solid price to get Hield. After all, he averaged 16.6 points per game for Sacramento last season. That was good for second-most on the team behind De’Aaron Fox. It remains to be seen whether the package the Lakers are offering will get a deal done, but perhaps if Sacramento is high on the 26-year-old Kyle Kuzma, it’ll be willing to offload the 28-year-old Hield.
We’ll find out soon enough. The 2021 NBA Draft will begin at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday. Click here for more information about how to watch the event.