Before the Siakam trade, Marc Stein reported the Pacers were exploring the market for Buddy Hield (subscription required) and a first-round pick. Hield is on an expiring contract, and the two sides failed to reach an extension. The 31-year-old wants more money than Indiana is willing to pay, and it is time for the franchise to move on.
Indiana must improve their defense, but can they find a significant upgrade by offering Hield and an unprotected first-round pick? The front office already made a massive push. They should go all-in in hopes of jumping into title contention, and here are five trade offers to make before the deadline.
5. Pacers get an elite defender without giving up 1st round pick
Indiana has a mountain of second-round picks, and the Pacers would love nothing more than to turn a handful of them into a key rotation piece. They should be calling up rebuilding teams to see what is available, and the perfect partner could be in Portland.
The Blazers matched Thybulle’s offer sheet in restricted free agency over the summer, but the 26-year-old is playing just 22.6 minutes per game on a rebuilding team. Portland is years away from making the playoffs again. They did not want to lose Thybulle for zero return, but would they take Buddy Hield and multiple second-round picks?
Thybulle made second-team All-Defense in 2021 and 2022. He remains an elite defender, but his offensive game is a question mark. Thybulle is taking and making more threes this season and has shot 36.5 percent over his last 293 attempts. Rick Carlisle has had success improving jumpers, and he may be able to boost his percentage further in Indiana.
Buddy Hield likely departs in free agency this summer, and Moses Brown is strictly a salary-matcher. The Indiana Pacers get the elite defender they have been searching for, and Portland adds three second-round picks to their draft capital.
If the Blazers are unwilling to bite, could coach Carlisle try to land an old friend in Indiana?