Less than a week ago, it was reported that the Indiana Pacers would begin seeking potential trade options for Buddy Hield as they were unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the news, noting that while the Pacers tried to hand Hield an extension, the veteran didn’t feel “desired” based on what their offer was.
Indiana Pacers GM issues reversal statement on Buddy Hield trade rumors
However, according to Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, the team isn’t openly trying to trade Buddy Hield. In fact, they want to keep him on the squad this year. (H/t Tony East of All Pacers, Erin Walsh of Bleacher Report)
“Buddy is somebody that we love having on our team,” said Buchanan. We want him on our team this year. The business of basketball comes into play at times, and we’ve had talks with him about an extension and those talks are at a halt right now. That’s not to say that they’re done. We’d like to have Buddy with us. We have no intention of trying to move Buddy but it’s also our job to listen if opportunities come that helps us improve the team. That’s what we have to do as a front office. But our intention is to have Buddy on the team this year and have him be a big part of our group.”
There are plenty of teams around the league who would probably love to have Hield on their team. Teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers all make sense as possible destinations for Hield.
That said, the Pacers are also a solid squad for him to grow with. Tyrese Haliburton is an All-Star point guard, Myles Turner is fresh off the best season of his career, and Indiana has a great young core around them.
Next to Haliburton, Hield will continue to get some of the best looks of his career, as the Pacers point guard is one of the best passers in the game. Considering how much of Hield’s game relies on generating open looks, it’s a great spot for him.
However, if Hield is worried about his future and the Pacers’ extension offer, then he may not want to stick around. As solid as the fit may be in Indiana, Hield will probably prioritize his long-term future over his spot on the Pacers.
Whether or not Hield gets traded before the start of the year is yet to be determined, but for now, it seems as though the Pacers are fine with keeping him.