Has Buddy Hield played himself into the Pacers’ future?

Buddy Hield - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Buddy Hield - Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Coming into the season, no one expected Buddy Hield to play this well and have such a big role on this Indiana Pacers team. He has quietly been one of the most consistent guys on the roster. Another thing that we were not sure about was if this team would be able to compete this year with the rest of the tough Eastern Conference. Well, the Pacers are sitting at 7-6 right now and are over .500 for the first time in almost two years.

Through 13 games so far, Hield has started in all of them and has put up steady numbers. Averaging 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and a solid 3.2 assists per game on an impressive 47 percent shooting from the field, including 40.8 percent from three and 87 percent from the charity stripe, he has undoubtedly been one of the best players on the team.

Oh, and of course, for his niche, Hield is tied for second in most threes made this season (52), trailing only Steph Curry (72). Buddy finished second last year and is in the position to do so once again.

One of the things that have been most impressive about the veteran sharpshooter is his consistency. He has played all 13 games so far this season like he has something to prove. He has been tasked several times with guarding some of the top players in the league in short spurts despite being pegged in the past as a poor defender. He seems to also have taken a leadership role on this team alongside TJ McConnell.

Is Buddy Hield now part of the future for the Indiana Pacers?

The Pacers are obviously building for the future, but with their play as of late, it is not outlandish to say that the Pacers could compete for at least a play-in spot for the playoffs. At 29, Hield is obviously one of the older players on the team but has been one of the steadier hands and presence on the roster.

On paper at least, Hield seems to have done enough to play himself right into the foreseeable future of this Pacers team due to his compatibility with the young core’s skill sets. He is a great compliment to rising star Tyrese Haliburton and possible Rookie of the Year, Bennedict Mathurin.

This comes as a bit of a shock to many as his name remains all over the rumor mill, though those could be put to bed quickly if his play keeps up and the Indiana Pacers continue to thrive with him soaking up a prominent role. But for the right price, as customary with a young team, expect the front office to eventually yield, though his natural fit with the roster could make the team double-think hard.

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