There were no winners in this midseason Pacers trade

Now that the Pacers and the 76ers are deep in the playoffs, it's clear their three-team trade with the Spurs didn't net either team a win.
Apr 17, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) dribbles
Apr 17, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Buddy Hield (17) dribbles / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Indiana Pacers are up in their series against Milwaukee. They have done so by having elite play from their starters and shortening their bench rotation. That bench was big in the Pacers' Game 3 overtime win. They gave just enough scoring to get the 121-118 win.

One player who is not in the rotation for the Pacers is Doug McDermott. He was barely in the rotation in the regular season. He was hurt for the first handful of games after the Pacers acquired him and never was able to get his shooting dialed in to the point that he was a weapon for the Pacers.

Indiana got McDermott as part of a three-team trade that included the Pacers sending Buddy Hield to Philadelphia. They essentially traded one shooter for another. At first, it looked like the 76ers won that trade. Now, it looks like neither the Pacers nor the 76ers got a win.

The Indiana Pacers and 76ers both lost their trade

Hield was expected to be a big part of the rotation for the 76ers in the playoffs, especially with Joel Embiid playing hurt. He's a shooter who can space the floor and add some danger to an offense that can get stagnant at times in the half-court. Instead, he's riding the bench.

Hield played a combined 26 minutes in the first two games of the series against the Knicks. He scored just two points and only took five shots. Quite frankly, he looked scared to shoot the ball for some reason. He only played four minutes in Game 3.

In Game 4 on Sunday, he didn't play at all. He has completely fallen out of the rotation for Philly. McDermott has played just seven minutes in this series against the Bucks and they all game in Game 1. He hasn't been an additive player for the Pacers this season.


I know part of the motivation to make the trade was because Hield wanted out. I still feel like the Pacers could have gotten more value for him. Fans were hoping this was going to be a win-win for each team. It's clear that it has become a lose-lose.