Before the Patrick Beverley departure from Utah took place, the Indiana Pacers were reportedly looking on a homerun deal to acquire Talen Horton-Tucker and Russell Westbrook from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sources told HoopsHype’s Mike Scotto that the Pacers initially took their efforts to gain Horton-Tucker, even hoping to gain a package that also includes Westbrook and the Lakers’ 2027 and 2029 picks. In return, Indiana will transfer Myles Turner, Buddy Hield and Daniel Theis.
Further detailed by Scotto, Los Angeles had hesitancy to throw Horton-Tucker away from the addition of Theis on the proposal, given that they’ll part ways already with their first-round picks in that given hypothetical transaction just to dump Westbrook’s expiring contract.
“It seems like the best trade the Lakers can make if they want to move Russell Westbrook and try to win this season is with Indiana for Myles Turner and Buddy Hield. One note that’s interesting is before the Lakers traded Talen Horton-Tucker to Utah in the Patrick Beverley trade, the Pacers were trying to get Horton-Tucker, I’m told. Essentially, Indiana was hoping to get Westbrook’s expiring contract, the Lakers’ two first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, along with Horton-Tucker for Turner, Hield and they wanted to make LA take Daniel Theis, who has some years looking ahead on his contract. Theis is more of a fit on a playoff-caliber team as we saw with the Celtics previously. The Lakers weren’t trying to essentially part with THT for Theis in that expanded trade package discussion after already having reservations about moving two first-round picks to get off Westbrook’s contract. In talking with people around the league, anybody that’s taking on Westbrook wants both of those first-round picks.”
In the end, intentions didn’t materialize on the part of the Pacers, as the Lakers threw Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson to Utah for Patrick Beverley.
Should Indiana have managed to pull it off, the 21-year-old wingman could have been a great rebuilding piece for the franchise. His addition with Tyrese Haliburton, Chris Duarte, Ben Mathurin and Jalen Smith gives the franchise something brighter to look into for the following years to come.
Nevertheless, Horton-Tucker can’t ask for a much better place to thrive and develop in Salt Lake City, as he is now being laid as a foundational piece of the Jazz’ impending long-term rebuild.
Upon the still existence of those future picks on their side, Lakers are playing their cards patiently. Options from other teams will continue to be shown, and the best offer will come at the right time for them to materialize.
While these lucrative picks are still intact on their belt, the possibility of obtaining Turner and Hield from Indianapolis remains clear as it is for the Lakeshow.