Welcome to the Groundhog Day of Lakers trade discussion.
The Lakers and Pacers held trade talks around Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. Again. Indiana claimed two unprotected first round picks. Again. The Lakers turned them down. Again.
It happened before this summer, and Shams Charania from The Atheltic said it happened again this week.
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Earlier Wednesday, Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said Turner would start the season with the Pacers.
Otherwise, the breakdown here is simple and unchanged. The Pacers think they should each get a first round for Turner and Hield, let alone take on (and then cancel) Russell Westbrook’s $47 million in this deal. From Indiana’s perspective, the cost of what the Lakers want is two unprotected first-rounders.
The Lakers have been unwilling to throw the only two choices they have in their hands for the rest of this decade (2027 and 2029) in a trade that doesn’t make them a title contender. With all due respect to how much Turner’s defense and floor distance would fit well next to Anthony Davis, and how much Hield’s shot would help the Lakers’ floor distance, adding those two doesn’t make the Lakers title contenders. So the Lakers held back.
The reality in this summer’s market—determined by the crop Utah got for Rudy Gobert—is that the Lakers won’t get the kind of star they need for two picks. They can get good players who can help them – Turner and Hield make them a playoff team if LeBron James and Davis stay healthy – but not a man to turn them into a contender.
That said, the Lakers will continue to watch. The Pacers will continue to listen to trade offers. And we will all live in a Groundhog Day world.
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Report: Lakers (again) rejected Pacers’ request for two first-round picks in Turner/Hield’s trade that originally appeared on NBCSports.com