Proposed trade with the Knicks could make the Pacers think twice

Obi Toppin, Indiana PAcers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Obi Toppin, Indiana PAcers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Indiana Pacers
Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks – Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Indiana Pacers trade Buddy Hield to the Knicks?

Buddy Hield will be entering the last year of his deal before entering unrestricted free agency in 2024. Will the Indiana Pacers commit to the sharpshooter beyond next season? The inferred inclination right now is “probably not”.

With Bennedict Mathurin projected to be the full-time starter next season, Hield’s role could vacillate, if not decline, soon, notwithstanding all the goodness he provides to the offense just by being on the court. For a franchise committed to shunning its olden ways, the more reasonable route to take is to pave the way for their standout rookie, even if that costs them the veteran.

Still, it’s more than due diligence for the Pacers to try and maximize Hield’s value. His skillset and value around the league has never been higher, and a return centered on Toppin, a salary filler in Fournier (who has a team option for 2024-25), and a protected future first-rounder is a reticent return at best.

Depending on how the Indiana Pacers value a future first-round pick from the Knicks brass becoming more competitive than before, this deal could probably be a base for a bigger return. However, as it is, trading a prized veteran like Buddy Hield for the proposed package would be a sign of concession for the Blue and Gold.

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