Buddy Hield is one of the more underrated players in the game (almost better known for trades that did not happen), a true sharpshooter who shot 42.5% from 3 last season but also can finish at the rim. Hield knocked down 288 3-pointers this past season, breaking Reggie Miller’s franchise record.
He also may be available in a trade.
The Pacers and Hield were talking about an extension to his $19.3 million contract for this season, but the sides could not find a deal and now Indiana is open to trades, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic. This is just the very early stages of those talks and no trade is near, Charania adds.
The Pacers did offer Hield an extension in recent weeks, but it’s believed their proposal did not make the seven-year guard feel desired, league sources said.
Adding Bruce Brown to the Pacers’ roster could move Hield to a sixth-man role if coach Rick Carlisle wanted more defense with the starters (not a Hield strength), which could have added tension to the contract extension talks. Brown, at $22 million this season, makes more than Hield, and next season Tyrese Haliburton’s max five-year extension kicks in, soaking up a large percentage of the payroll. All that may have limited what the Pacers offered Hield.
Hield will draw interest from a number of teams because he is plug-and-play on any roster and his $19.3 million expiring contract is affordable. However, whatever team trades for him will have to re-sign him this summer at a higher price (if they want to retain him).
Hield came to Indiana as part of the trade that sent Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento and Haliburton to Indiana (a trade that has worked out for both sides). After a strong offseason where the Pacers signed Brown and traded for Obi Toppin — combined with the breakout summer Haliburton had playing for Team USA — Indiana is an under-the-radar playoff threat in the East. Trading Hield and what he brings could change that dynamic.