NBA rumors: 76ers targeting Pacers' Buddy Hield
The 76ers' goal is to remain competitive until Joel Embiid can return from his meniscus injury. Daryl Morey is expected to operate aggressively at the trade deadline, with his sights set on immediate upgrades that don't impact Philadelphia's long-term financial outlook. The Sixers can clear north of $60 million in cap space next offseason. Expiring contracts are the targets.
One player the Sixers have registered interest in, per Yahoo's Jake Fischer, is Indiana Pacers swingman Buddy Hield. His $18.5 million contract is a clean match for several of Philadelphia's own expiring deals — Marcus Morris Sr. is making $17.1 million, while Robert Covington ($11.6 million) and Furkan Korkmaz ($5.3 million) can combine to reach Hield's number.
Hield has long been on the Sixers' radar, at least loosely. He's the perfect Joel Embiid teammate. The 31-year-old qualifies as one of the great volume shooters in recent NBA history, connecting on 1,842 made 3s to date in his career. Embiid's best basketball has always come when surrounded by high-leverage shooters. Hield's gravity can change the geometry of defenses. His range extends well beyond the 3-point line and he doesn't need much airspace (or encouragement) to fire away.
In the meantime, Hield's scoring would be a major boon in Embiid's absence. He's averaging 12.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on .443/.384/.848 splits in 25.7 minutes. He's not much of a defender, and Hield has been in a minor slump this season, but he's point-blank a great shooter who would complement Tyrese Maxey while adding more punch to the Sixers' second unit. Philadelphia needs dudes who can put the ball in the bucket right now. Hield can oblige.
Really, though, this would be a move made with Embiid in mind. Embiid hasn't been blessed with a great movement shooter to run DHOs with since J.J. Redick retired. Nurse would unlock a ton of new offensive wrinkles with Hield in tow.