Report: NBA executives and agents believe Lakers will eventually cave and trade for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers have gotten out to a slow start in the 2022-23 season, and it’s put some extra pressure on the team to find a way to upgrade the roster during the season.

Los Angeles has really struggled shooting the ball from beyond the arc, and the team has already moved Russell Westbrook to the bench in an attempt to revitalize the offense.

The Westbrook move has worked so far, especially in the team’s win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night. Westbrook scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and eight assists in the win over Denver.

Despite Westbrook’s improved play, executives around the NBA believe that the Lakers will eventually cave and make a trade this season. The Indiana Pacers’ package of Buddy Hield and Myles Turner appears to be the most likely route.

“Several executives and agents around the league believe the Lakers will eventually cave, probably for the Pacers deal,” Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus wrote.

The Lakers would likely need to give up their first-round picks in the 2027 and 2029 NBA drafts to complete any deal for Turner and Hield, even if Westbrook continues to play better in his new role.

It’s possible that the Pacers will want to come to an agreement as well, as Turner is set to hit free agency next offseason, and there’s no guarantee that he would stay with the Pacers. Rather than risk losing him for nothing, Indiana could attempt to recoup some value by trading him.

Turner even made the case for himself being traded on ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski’s latest podcast.

“We all know picks are so valuable in this league,” Turner said. “And someone like myself, I’m heading into the last year of my deal, and you wanna make sure you’re getting a return for your assets.”

This season, Turner has played in just three games after missing the start of the campaign with an ankle injury. He is averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game.

He and Hield would give the Lakers a serious upgrade in the shooting department, but the team has to decide if that is worth sacrificing multiple seasons of first-round draft picks. The fact that the Lakers have gotten out to such a slow start could deter them in their pursuit of both players.

For now, executives around the NBA appear to believe that general manager Rob Pelinka will eventually make a deal to give LeBron James and Anthony Davis a better supporting cast to chase a playoff spot and an NBA title this season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.