NBA Trade Grades: 76ers acquire sharpshooter from Pacers in big deadline deal

The Pacers finally traded Buddy Hield, sending him to the 76ers in a big deadline deal.

Jan 28, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (7) in the first half
Jan 28, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield (7) in the first half / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Trade Deadline day was as quiet as ever before the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers swooped in to revive things, completing a big trade.

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports, the Pacers are sending sharpshooter Buddy Hield to the 76ers in exchange for two players and three second-round draft picks.

Buddy Hield Trade

This trade is a bit of a curious one from Indiana's perspective, as they downgraded their roster for right now but did net some solid draft pick compensation for an expiring contract.

NBA trade grades: Who won the Buddy Hield trade?

Philadelphia 76ers trade grade: A-

The 76ers were dealt a major blow with Joel Embiid suffering a meniscus injury. Embiid was playing arguably the best basketball of his career (crazy to say a year after winning the MVP award) before going down with a major injury in a game in Golden State. Despite that huge injury, the Sixers have been looking to stay competitive this season while also not adding long-term money so they can pursue a star player to add alongside Embiid and All-Star guard Tyrese Maxey.

Hield is the perfect complimentary piece to put alongside a dominant big man like Embiid. Hield is one of the best shooters in the NBA even with his down season, and should be a very impactful addition to this 76ers roster, especially come playoff time. Hield even in a down year is shooting 38 percent from 3-point range and is averaging 12.0 points per game. He's a career 40.1 percent shooter from beyond the arc, a number that could be even higher with all of the room Embiid should give him.

The 76ers didn't give much up to get a player who should play a huge role for them the rest of the way, giving up only matching salaries and second-round picks. Marcus Morris was the biggest name sent to Indiana in the deal, but since being acquired from the Clippers in the James Harden trade, he's played just 17.2 minutes per game, making him more than replacable.

Indiana Pacers trade grade: C

This is a strange move for a breakout Pacers team to make. It felt almost certain that Hield was going to go to the Raptors in the Pascal Siakam trade, but Bruce Brown headlined that deal instead. He's a player Indiana might have liked to keep but they couldn't agree on an extension and needed to trade him before he left in free agency.

Hield has seen a bit of a diminished role in Indiana this season averaging just 9.9 field goal attempts per game, his lowest mark since his rookie year back in 2016-17, but it's still a gamble to see the team trade a valuable rotation player for second-round picks when they sit at 29-23, sixth in the Eastern Conference and just one game ahead of the Heat for that valuable sixth spot.

The Pacers are making this move more for the future, getting the second-round picks for an expiring contract. While the value there isn't horrible, it just doesn't make much sense to make this move when they're a playoff team. Letting Hield get his playoff minutes and letting him walk for nothing could be more valuable than the second-round compensation.

All Indiana got in terms of players is matching salaries. It's hard to envision Morris getting playing time over their backup bigs Obi Toppin and Jalen Smith, and Korkmaz certainly won't get regular minutes either. Value sort of lines up, but not a move a playoff team should be making.

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