Buddy Hield has been connected to the Los Angeles Lakers several times on the trade market. It dates back to the 2021 offseason, where it appeared that the Lakers were going to trade for Hield before Rob Pelinka changed course and traded for Russell Westbrook instead.
Hield was then tied to Westbrook for an entire calendar year as the No. 1 theorized Westbrook trade was flipping him and draft picks to the Indiana Pacers for Hield and Myles Turner. That never came to fruition as Indiana was asking for two unprotected first-round picks in return.
Fast forward to September of 2023 and Hield is back on the trade market. Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Hield and the Pacers are exploring a potential trade after the two sides could not come to terms on a contract extension. Naturally, Los Angeles was theorized as a potential destination.
The Lakers cannot trade for Hield until December at the earliest, and even then a potential move is questionable at best. Plus, there are several teams that would likely trade for Hield before the Lakers even had a chance.
3 teams that will trade for Buddy Hield before the Lakers have a chance:
1. Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors are the definition of a team being stuck in-between. Toronto is far too talented to tank and be one of the worst teams in the league but it is unreasonable to expect them to make any kind of push for the NBA Title.
That being said, Toronto was in the same boat last season and still made the move for an expiring Jakob Poeltl. Toronto brought Poeltl in and eventually signed him to a new deal, keeping him with the team.
Perhaps the Raptors could look to do the same with Hield. Toronto was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league last season with Gary Trent Jr. being the only reliable shooting option. Hield would certainly improve their shooting and Toronto could make a deal happen with ease.
The Raptors could package two throw-away contracts in Thaddeus Young and Otto Porter Jr. along with a protected first-round pick in the 2026 NBA Draft to get a deal done for Hield.