Report: Lakers were 'close' to finish line in deal for Buddy Hield before trading for Russell Westbrook - Lakers Daily

Report: Lakers were ‘close’ to finish line in deal for Buddy Hield before trading for Russell Westbrook

Kyle Kuzma Buddy Hield

According to a report, the Los Angeles Lakers were very close to trading for Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield before L.A. ultimately acquired superstar point guard Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards.

“The Lakers had an alternative close to the finish line, sources said: [Kyle] Kuzma and [Montrezl] Harrell to Sacramento for Buddy Hield,” wrote Zach Lowe of ESPN. “In that scenario, they could have kept [Kentavious] Caldwell-Pope and re-signed [Dennis] Schroder. The Westbrook deal came together fast. At the beginning of draft day, Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards’ GM, was discussing other deals based on the premise that Westbrook and Bradley Beal would be together in Washington, sources said.”

There is a world of a difference between Westbrook and Hield, but both are great players. Ultimately, the Lakers organization has to be satisfied with the addition of a nine-time All-Star in Westbrook, but Hield would have been an exciting addition too.

In the 2020-21 season, Hield averaged 16.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 39.1 percent from deep. As far as scoring goes, the campaign was a slight regression for him, as he averaged 19.2 points per game in the previous season.

Hield is just 28 years old and figures to have a better long-term trajectory than Westbrook at this point. However, the Lakers seem focused solely on the 2021-22 season. With that being the case, the addition of Westbrook makes a lot of sense.

With a trio of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook, L.A. is considered by many to be the best team on paper in the NBA.

The Lakers have the best title odds in the league for the 2021-22 season.