The biggest trade rumor of the NBA season so far has been a proposed deal that would send Myles Turner and Buddy Hield to the Los Angeles Lakers and Russell Westbrook to the Indiana Pacers. The trade was supposedly at the ‘one-yard line’ over the offseason, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement with Indiana asking for the Lakers’ first round picks in both 2027 and 2029.
As the Lakers started the season 0-5 before finally getting their first win Sunday night against the Denver Nuggets, speculation over a potential trade for Turner and Hield has grown even more intense. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had Turner on his podcast on Monday and straight up asked him if the Lakers should trade two first round picks to acquire himself and Hield.
“If I’m the Lakers, I take a very hard look at this with the position that you’re in,” Turner said. “I know what I can provide for a team.” Listen to Turner’s answer below, and check out the full episode of The Woj Pod here.
Here’s what Turner said about potentially going to the Lakers:
“Yes, [it’s appealing]. Just playing in the bigger market, I just feel like here in the Midwest we don’t get the love that I think we deserve. It doesn’t get taken on the national level. You are under the microscope out there at the West, when you are doing bad you going to hear about it. When you are doing great you are going to get a lot of love, especially with the love that Lakers get. I think that another aspect that is playing with greatness and playing under LeBron, I feel like he demands certain level of excellency especially at this point of his career. It’s just one of those things, when you are out there, you gotta perform. People are going expect you to go out there and hold on to that legacy that Lakers have built over the years.”
Can you ever remember a player under contract with one team going on a massive national podcast and getting the case for why he should be traded to another team? I can’t, and neither can most fans. Only Woj can get this level of access out of players.
Turner talked about how interest from the Lakers’ fanbase has followed him and Hield throughout the start of this season. He recalled himself and Hield watching tweets from Lakers fans come in as they sat next to each other on the bus while the Lakers were losing halfway across the country. Turner also talked about trying to stay healthy this season — he started the year with an ankle injury — and what it’s like going into the final year of his contract with Indiana.
In his most recent game against the Wizards, Turner finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, and shot 3-of-4 from three-point range. That’s the type of performance that is making the Lakers think long and hard about trading two first rounders for him for Hield. The real negotiation will likely take place over what kind of protections those picks have.
This has already been a bizarre season for the Lakers, and we’re not even out of the first month yet. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here.