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#pounditSunday, December 4, 2022

Lakers-Pacers blockbuster trade reportedly has 1 holdup

Russell Westbrook with his arm out

Nov 23, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (0) reacts during the third quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers and Indiana Pacers have been engaged in discussions about a blockbuster trade that would see them swap star players, but those talks have reportedly broken off.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin said earlier this week that the Lakers and Pacers have held trade talks centered on star guard Buddy Hield. One scenario that was outlined involved Indiana sending Hield and Myles Turner to the Lakers for Russell Westbrook and draft capital. Apparently, L.A. feels the Pacers asked for too much draft capital.

According to Bob Kravitz and Shams Charania of The Athletic, trade discussions between L.A. and Indiana fizzled out over the Lakers’ refusal to include a second first-round pick in the deal.

It makes sense that the Pacers would want multiple first-round picks. Westbrook is 33 and coming off a rough season. He is also owed $47.1 million after he opted into the final year of his contract. Hield and Turner are both significantly younger. Hield is also a player whom the Lakers have coveted for years. They are going to have to pay if they want to get him while also unloading Westbrook.

Hield averaged 18.2 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists in 26 games with the Pacers last season after they acquired him from the Sacramento Kings. Westbrook had better overall numbers with 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, but he shot 29.8 percent from three-point range compared to Hield’s 36.4 percent.

If the only holdup in the trade is a 2029 first-round pick, you would have to think there is still hope of it getting done.

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