At the urging of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Lakers pivoted this offseason from a nearly-done trade with the Kings for Buddy Hield to sending most of their depth to Washington to get Russell Westbrook.
That doesn’t mean they lost interest in Hield.
In his latest “Posted up podcast, Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes reported the Lakers reached out later and tried to do a Talen Horton-Tucker for Hield trade, but that was shot down (hat tip Bleacher Report).
“League sources have told me the Lakers have reached out to the Kings about a Talen Horton-Tucker package for Hield. Still trying to make that happen. Obviously the Kings are like, ‘No. We feel like there’s more lucrative deals out there.’ The Kings are going to be active. They’ve got a whole bunch of people calling them.”
To make that deal work under the cap, the Lakers would need to send Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn, plus two veteran minimum contracts (DeAndre Jordan would likely be one, and maybe Kent Bazemore). Still, the Kings would likely want the Lakers’ 2027 first-round pick as a sweetener. Four players and a pick for Hield is a steep price.
One of the challenges for the Lakers in making a deadline trade this season is that Horton-Tucker’s game regressed this season. He is shooting got worse (his 48.3 true shooting percentage is well below the league average), he’s a little one dimensional on offense (he can drive), he’s not a great defender, and he’s making more than $21 million total over the two seasons after this one. Teams are not jumping at the chance to add him, especially not for a quality rotation player.
The Kings are aggressively looking to add talent at the deadline — Ben Simmons is out but there is a lot of buzz about them going after Jerami Grant — and it is likely Hield and/or Harrison Barnes will be on the move by Feb. 10. Stumbling and out of the playoffs (for the 16th straight season), the King are looking for more immediate game-changers. The Lakers are not offering a player of that stature.