Grade the trade: Pacers land playoff standout in Buddy Hield proposal

Indiana Pacers, Buddy Hield. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Buddy Hield. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers have not worked out an extension with Buddy Hield, and the sharpshooter is rumored to be on the trade block (subscription required). Pacers GM Chad Buchanan downplayed those discussions and mentioned his team’s desire to keep Hield. Indiana has zero interest in seeing him hit free agency next summer, so fans should expect to hear about trade talks before the deadline.

The Damian Lillard blockbuster shocked the world on Wednesday afternoon and had ripple effects across the league. The Bucks went all-in on winning the title in 2024, and the Blazers have a new All-Star guard to dangle on the trade block. Phoenix dumped Deandre Ayton for depth, and the trade could open the floodgates to another small flurry of movement.

Lillard finding a new home should help the Pacers trade Buddy Hield. The seven-time All-Star was the best player on the block, and teams with dashed hopes of acquiring him could look for smaller upgrades like acquiring Indiana’s sharpshooter. If Portland flips Holiday, there could be another blockbuster to get attached to.

Can the Indiana Pacers get involved in the Jrue Holiday trade?

The Blazers cannot aggregate Holiday in a new deal for two months after the Damian Lillard trade became official late on Wednesday night. Portland could trade Holiday by himself or wait until around Thanksgiving to send him elsewhere.

The Pacers would have interest as a third team in any Holiday deal. It could be an opportunity to get an upgrade over Buddy Hield without having to part with significant draft capital. They may even be able to get some in return for taking on a negative contract.

What might the deal look like? There are several possibilities and multiple interested parties, but here is one hypothetical option.