KEY POINTS

  • The Lakers need to upgrade their depth if they want to contend next season
  • Sacramento's Buddy Hield is on the Lakers' shortlist of trade targets
  • The Kings seem going all-in on the Haliburton-Fox backcourt duo

The Los Angeles Lakers have a lot to figure out this offseason.

A first-round exit to the Phoenix Suns has forced one of the most storied teams in the NBA to look at themselves in the mirror and find out what they need to fix in order to compete for another title.

Short of a starting-caliber point guard, the Lakers have been in desperate need of a shooter that can make plays for himself and find the open man while having the ability to shoot the three-pointer with ease.

Wesley Matthews filled that three-and-D role, but Father Time is close to calling his number and the Lakers are in desperate need to get younger.

Dennis Schroder is unlikely to return to the team after he declined a four-year, $88 million extension early in the year, and he is seeking a contract worth $100-120 million this summer.

Schroder’s potential departure has allowed names such as Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry to emerge as potential free agent signings, with the latter two names reportedly willing to take pay cuts if it meant they get to team up again.

New reports have surfaced that the Lakers are in talks with the Sacramento Kings and discussing a deal for shooting guard Buddy Hield.

Shams Charania of The Athletic originally broke the story.

The Lakers and Sacramento Kings have discussed a deal centered on guard Buddy Hield, sources tell The Athletic. Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma would be involved in a potential package, per sources. The Lakers have received interest from several teams regarding Kuzma, sources said.

Getting Hield solves a lot of problems for the Lakers as having the 2020 NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest winner allows LeBron James and Anthony Davis to operate in the paint.

Trading away Hield also frees up the logjam at the Kings’ backcourt with the emergence of rookie Tyrese Haliburton.

Tyrese Haliburton APRIL 28: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Sacramento Kings shoots a basket during a game against the Utah Jazz at Golden 1 Center on April 28, 2021 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Pairing him with De’Aaron Fox has become the Kings’ go-to lineup, leaving Hield to languish on the corners and waiting for a three instead of creating shots for himself.

Hield is a fantastic catch-and-shoot player and at 28 years old, and he may find himself a better role elsewhere in the league as the Kings are expected to go all-in on the Haliburton-Fox backcourt moving forward.

Kyle Kuzma’s disappointing performance in the playoffs has led to his name being included in many trade rumors, and him being the centerpiece in the trade for Hield is not unexpected.

The Lakers will need to include either Kentavious Caldwell-Pope or Montrezl Harrell to make the deal work as the majority of the Lakers’ cap space is tied up to James and Davis.