Lakers’ Best Shot at Championship Is Myles Turner and Buddy Hield Trade

Lakers’ fans are about to find out how serious Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka are about going all-in to win a championship. Get ready because we’re at that point right now. Opportunity has knocked. Will the Lakers answer?

Per Jovan Buha of the Athletic, the Lakers understand the best deal they can get for the assets they have — Russell Westbrook and two first round draft picks — would be trading with the Pacers for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. So far, the Pacers have asked for the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 unprotected first round picks as the price for a Westbrook for Turner and Hield trade and the Lakers have countered with the second pick being a swap or protected.

The Lakers smartly would like to keep one of their first round picks as ammunition to sweeten a possible major midseason trade at the deadline or to combine with their 2023 first round pick in a draft day deal next summer. Besides keeping one of their picks, Pelinka is probably unwilling to make a deal that increases salaries and luxury taxes and prefers to trade only for players with expiring contracts, though that probably depends on player.

To create leverage to get the Pacers to agree to the second pick being a swap or protected, the Lakers are actively seeking a Westbrook trade with the Jazz or Spurs that includes just one pick and no salary and tax increases. That’s a smart strategy as is waiting out the Pacers at this point in time. There is little difference between an unprotected pick or a pick swap to the team receiving the swap since it is by its definition completely unprotected.

In the end, Rob Pelinka and Jeanie Buss must remember their commitment to their fans as legal guardians of the Los Angeles Lakers brand is to do whatever they can possibly do within reason to win more championships. Their commitment to LeBron James is to use all the tools in their arsenal to surround him with the best possible talent to enable him to win. As is their commitment to Darvin Ham to get him the players he needs for his system.

Nothing is as important as giving the dynamic young coach the Lakers hired to recapture their championship defense and modernize their old school offense a great roster whose skillsets and persona fit what he needs to win. The Beverley trade has given Ham the aggressive point-of-attack guard he needs to fill the role Jrue Holiday played for the Bucks. Now Pelinka needs to get Ham the modern two-way center he needs to fill Brook Lopez’s role.

Trading for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield is the Lakers’ best shot to win a championship this season. Negotiate the best possible terms but walk away from the table with the deal. Not with an empty hand and an extra pick.

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Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.