"The Lakers were long rumored for Buddy Hield… You look at teams like Dallas, Philly, Milwaukee. Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield."
— The Rally (@TheRally) September 21, 2023
Los Angeles has been linked to Hield for quite some time and traded for Russell Westbrook prior to the 2021-22 season rather than attempting to make a deal for the Oklahoma University product. In September 2022, the Pacers were possibly looking to trade Hield and Myles Turner to the Lakers for unprotected draft picks.
The 30-year-old, who was the No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, played his first full season with the Pacers last season after stints with the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. He has averaged 16.1 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in 548 NBA appearances.
According to Charania, the Pacers are likely to use Hield as a reserve behind Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard, which could eventually make the veteran an attractive trade piece.
“Buddy Hield is likely looking at a reserve role,” Charania said. “And we’ll see how that takes place and how that impacts him, his role, his value, his stats. And I think that’s why it’s likely gonna go into the season as far as Buddy Hield and his future in Indiana.”
The Lakers this offseason accomplished a great deal in their effort to remain a contender for the NBA championship. They added Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish, Taurean Prince, Jaxson Hayes and Christian Wood, re-signed Austin Reaves, D’Angelo Russell and Rui Hachimura and gave contract extensions to Anthony Davis and Jarred Vanderbilt.
Reaves in particular seems to be an emerging star in a similar role to one Hield might play. The 25-year-old was a standout for Team USA at the recent 2023 FIBA World Cup.
Getting out of the gates quickly this campaign would be a stark contrast to last season, when the slow start led to owner Jeanie Buss having to deal with death threats. The Lakers did recover and rally for an impressive playoff run. But if they do need some in-season reinforcements during the 2023-24 campaign, perhaps they will turn their sights to Hield.