LeBron James Talked Rob Pelinka Out Of Trading For Buddy Hield

The Los Angeles Lakers are currently positioned in 9th-place in the Western Conference - a far cry from where this team envisioned it would be this offseason.  After a disappointing follow-up to their championship run in 2020, the Lakers made a huge splash by trading for 9x All-Star Russell Westbrook in somewhat of a surprising move, as Los Angeles was linked to Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield for weeks ahead of the Westbrook news.  Turns out, star players LeBron James and Anthony Davis heavily influenced that decision, despite GM Rob Pelinka (and most NBA analysts, for that matter) thinking that Hield would be the better fit for the team.  NBA Insider Marc Stein:

Rob Pelinka wanted to and planned to trade for Buddy Hield but James & Davis encouraged him to go after Westbrook.

That's huge news considering the overwhelming feeling around the league that a trade for Hield would have the Lakers in a much more favorable position than they currently find themselves.  While injuries to both James and Davis among others have been a contributing factor, the majority of the blame for the Lakers' woeful season has gone towards their newly acquired starting point guard.   

The 2x scoring champ has been mentioned in trade rumors but almost no team would be willing to give up valuable assets to acquire a player like Westbrook at this point in his career, with his stock at the lowest it's likely ever been.  The Lakers will have to find a way to build some chemistry because they are unlikely to make a move for a player that could fit in better alongside their other starters.

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