NBA rumors: Indiana Pacers asking price for Buddy Hield
On Saturday, Insider Marc Stein argued on 97.1 The Freak that the Indiana Pacers could potentially get a future-first-round pick for Buddy Hield. However, in Stein's words, "few rival executives who either heard my take or read about it later let me know afterward that they disagree." Stein circled back to the topic on Sunday and reported via his Substack that the Pacers may have some trouble getting a first-round pick for Hield after all:
"The handful of execs I spoke to post-show were unanimous in their view that Hield's looming free agency, with only this coming season left on his current contract at $19.3 million, will complicate Indiana's efforts to generate offers that feature more than multiple second-round picks attached to the contract(s) needed to match Hield's salary"
Hield has inherent value. He's a top-10 shooter in the NBA. Of the 8.5 3-pointers he attempted per game, he sunk 3.6 of them. Not only is he a highly accurate 3-point shooter, but as Stein points out, he's also "remarkably durable." In his seven NBA seasons, Hield has only missed five games. During the 2022-23 season, Hield averaged 16.8 points, five rebounds and almost three assists per game, while shooting 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. With that said, although he's yet to play in a playoff game, Hield could offer a lot to a contender.
Shams reported via The Athletic, "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."
Since then, any contract extension negotiation talk with Hield has stalled out and a trade seems imminent. Hield enters this season in the last year of his contract and is an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn't get moved before then, he'd become a top free agent next summer. Even if it's not for a future first-rounder, it'll be interesting to see how Indiana decides to use Hield.