According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Indiana Pacers and Buddy Hield are working together to find a trade for the veteran sharpshooter. Charania noted that the decision came about when contract extension talks stalled. Though the Pacers did offer Hield a deal, he was not a fan.
In his piece, Charania also revealed that Hield is open to a trade, but at the moment, the Pacers aren’t in serious talks with any other teams about a deal. That said, it was also reported that multiple teams are expected to show an interest in trading for Hield.
Report: Indiana Pacers have started to search for Buddy Hield trade
Hield will be entering the final year of his contract this season after appearing in 80 games for Indiana last year, starting 73 of them and playing 31.0 minutes per contest.
The 30-year-old guard averaged 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while shooting 45.8% from the field and 42.5% from behind the three-point line.
Hield is widely regarded as one of the best three-point shooters, not only in the league but of all time. He ranked 29th all-time in three-point makes and 11th among active players.
Finding a trade for the veteran provides the Pacers will a solid opportunity to either package him in a larger deal or flip him for a player who is under contract for multiple seasons.
With Hield set to make roughly $19.3 million this upcoming season, aggregating his salary along with some other players on the roster could help the Pacers net a star player.
And if there are none available on the market, getting draft capital back in return for the sharpshooter would help the Pacers prepare to make a bigger deal down the line.
Lots of teams around the league should be eager to inquire about Hield’s services. While he may not be the most reliable on the defensive end, his three-point shooting will undoubtedly be a hot commodity.
As outlined in this piece, two teams that could potentially be interested in the star based on their current rosters and situations are the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers. A trade with the Toronto Raptors could also make sense, as the Pacers have shown an interest in guys like OG Anunoby and Pascal Siakam in the past.
While it’s unclear whether or not the Pacers aim to trade Hield before the season begins (which seems unlikely as training camp opens up in roughly two weeks), it seems as though he will not be in Indiana past the trade deadline.