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Lakers willing to include No. 22 pick for Buddy Hield

The Kings could have two picks in the first round of the 2021 NBA Draft.

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Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images

It’s NBA Draft day and all eyes are on the Sacramento Kings, not just because of they have the No. 9 overall pick, but also because of the Buddy Hield trade rumors.

After five seasons in Sacramento, Hield’s time with the Kings appears to be coming to an end and the Los Angeles Lakers are the most likely landing spot for the former No. 6 overall pick. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, there’s “real traction” on a trade that would send Hield to the Lakers for a package centered around Kyle Kuzma, in part because of L.A.’s willingness to include their first-round pick in this year’s draft:

Multiple reports have indicated that the Lakers are interested in a deal for Buddy, and with fewer than 24 hours until the 2021 draft, multiple league sources say Los Angeles has stepped up its efforts by adding the no. 22 pick to a deal that’d include Montrezl Harrell and Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

Kuzma and Harrell would be a good return for the Kings; Kuzma, Harrell and the No. 22 pick would be a great return for the Kings. While Kuzma and Harrell are productive players that can help the Kings compete for a playoff spot next season, Harrell will be an expiring contract (assuming he exercises his player option) and Kuzma can enter unrestricted free agency in 2023. In terms of assets, the No. 22 pick would be a huge get.

Unfortunately for the Kings, it sounds like the situation is fluid:

But whether it’s the No. 22 pick in this year’s draft, future draft compensation or another player, anything in addition to Kuzma and Harrell would be a home run for the Kings. Additionally, a package of Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope would be tremendous value for the Kings even though Hield would technically be the best player in the trade.

The point is that there are very few scenarios in which the Kings lose this trade given the contract that the Lakers have to work with. Hopefully Monte McNair and Co. realize that and don’t overthink things as we get closer to the draft.