Are the Pacers gouging the Lakers in latest Turner, Hield trade talks?

Myles Turner, Russell Westbrook - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Myles Turner, Russell Westbrook - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2022-23 NBA Season may be rapidly approaching, but the state of the league remains relatively far from a finished product in the player movement front. One of the persistent elephants in the room is the status of disgruntled star Russell Westbrook, who continues to be bannered by the Los Angeles Lakers in trade talks around the league, particularly with the Indiana Pacers.

In fact, while it appears that both teams have been amenable, albeit awkwardly, to opening the campaign with their current rosters, recent news have pointed to the Pacers’ willingness to pull the trigger should the Lakers include two unprotected first round-picks to sweeten their offer involving Westbrook. In return, Indiana would part with Myles Turner and Buddy Hield, two players whom LA has been linked to since the summer began.

Are the Indiana Pacers gouging the Lakers in recent trade talks?

While the Pacers-Lakers trade fiasco has been in the rumor mill for months now, nothing has materialized, as LA’s brass has seemingly been more reserved for now in attempting to make drastic changes to the roster after shooting themselves in the foot financially and asset-wise by trading for Westbrook in the previous offseason.

However, the lack of audacious dreaming, Hollywood fever and whatnot, has given the Lakers much flak. Despite LeBron James re-signing with the franchise after some uncertainty, their front office’s unwillingness to mortgage their future, while understandable, is laying the groundwork for another wasted year with the King. This has severely limited them in improving their team, as a glance at their roster will give you the impression of a fringe play-in squad.

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Still, something’s got to give. Put simply, the Lakers are not winning a title with what they have in store. But what the Pacers can put on the table should give them a drastically better chance at competing in the brutal Western Conference. Of course, this will mean that the Lakers will have to skirt their future-proofing.

Dissecting through Myles Turner’s label as a flight risk makes Indiana’s demand of two unprotected first-rounders reek of overpay, but Buddy Hield is easily worth one and LA has to incentivize the Pacers into executing a multi-player trade and absorb Westbrook’s albatross deal.

As said previously, the Pacers have complete leverage in this regard, as they could simply resort to weighing the market separately for Turner and Hield and expect teams to line up for their services.

Now, are the Pacers gouging the Lakers? The answer is a workable yes, but for any team in their situation, rendering favors to LA should come with a price. And if the price is steep, the buyer can simply step away and settle with its deck.

dark. Next. The theme for the Pacers in 2022-23