Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers

Myles Turner and Buddy Hield would make the Lakers a contender

The Lakers could make a run toward another title if they trade for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield

The Los Angeles Lakers made a move to acquire Patrick Beverley earlier this week, but expectations are that the team is not done making tweaks to the roster in advance of the start of the 2022-23 season.

Take one look at the projected lineup and rotation and you can tell the Lakers need to continue to upgrade.

LeBron James has been pushing the Lakers to inquire on Kyrie Irving since he signed his extension with the team a week ago, but with Kevin Durant agreeing to return to the team, it’s unlikely that the Nets are ready to make such a move.

Thus, the Lakers attention will probably move toward the Indiana Pacers, who have Buddy Hield and Myles Turner, players the Lakers and Pacers have had discussions about.

It will require the Lakers going into an uncomfortable zone with price since the Pacers will likely want the two first-round picks that the Lakers want to hold onto unless Kyrie Irving is on the table.

Lakers next move should be to trade for Buddy Hield and Myles Turner

The Lakers have made plenty of glamorous moves over the last several years. Los Angeles has been a star player turnstile. Some of those moves have been crucially important, like LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Others have been needle-movers, but not exactly deal-breakers, like Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard. And more recently, the star moves have been downright harmful, like Russell Westbrook.

It’s time for the Lakers to make a smart move involving good basketball players, even if they’re not the big-name stars you’d expect to see donning the purple and gold.

Buddy Hield and Myles Turner fit that bill and would be a move in the right direction for the Lakers. For one, it would involve moving Westbrook to Indiana, which is probably a welcome change for all parties. In exchange, the Lakers would fortify their center spot, the weakest part of the starting linueup, and add shooting to a roster that ranked 22nd in the league in 3-point accuracy last year.

Hield is a career 39.8 percent 3-point shooter, and Myles Turner has adapted well to the modern game, averaging 34.9 percent from beyond the arc. He went from attempting 1.4 3-pointers per game in 2017 to 4.4 per game in each of the last two seasons.

A huge pain point last season was the lack of spacing brought on by Westbrook’s inability to shoot beyond the arc, and this move would instantly create spacing for the Lakers.

Turner is also defensively very strong, with a defensive box plus/minus of 2.0 and 1.4 in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, respectively. He’s also a two-time blocking champion.

The Lakers would upgrade their roster tremendously if they could make a move that returns them Hield and Turner, and should lunge at the opportunity to do so. While it’s not the star move LeBron or Lakers fans are accustomed to, it is the right move.

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