Inside Pass from @ShamsCharania
Bradley Beal mulling future with Wizards
Lakers and Kings have discussed Buddy Hield trade
Sixers, Lakers, Mavericks, Pelicans and Heat expected to be top suitors for Kyle Lowry https://t.co/gz2KP4LTjW
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) July 25, 2021
— The Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing a third stellar player who provides playmaking and shot creation around LeBron James and Anthony Davis, sources said.
The Lakers are expected to show interest in several free agents such as Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Spencer Dinwiddie, according to sources, but another scenario has gained some traction.
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.
The Lakers used their treasure chest of assets — such as promising young players in Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball, and draft picks — in the Davis trade with New Orleans in 2019, which makes a superstar trade for a player like Beal or a superstar signing like Chris Paul impossible. The Lakers are expected to have the taxpayer mid-level exception at their disposal this offseason, which is not close to what Paul would command in free agency, nor would the Suns entertain a sign-and-trade with a fellow Western Conference rival. For the Lakers, the offseason is expected to be a quest for a third playmaker and shot-creator — not a faulty pursuit for a star player.
After capturing the 2020 NBA championship, the Lakers fell to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. James and Davis missed 27 and 36 games, respectively, during the 72-game season. A title run always takes a combination of work ethic, talent, culture and, yes, luck. Lakers head coach Frank Vogel and GM Rob Pelinka maintained a positive mindset throughout the season, falling back on their championship experience from 2020, but injuries to key players are difficult to overcome.
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