Buddy Hield was one of the most sought-after targets at last year's trade deadline but the Pacers ended up holding onto him. His shooting was a huge bonus for the development of Ty Haliburton and Bennedict Mathurin and the re-emergence of Myles Turner. Indiana knew they had Hield under contract for the 2023-24 season so they decided to roll the dice, try and negotiate an extension and then trade him this season if need be.
Well ... need be.
According to Shams Charania, extension negotiations between Hield and the Pacers have fallen apart and Indiana is now fielding trade offers for, arguably, the second-best shooter in the NBA.
Shooting is still Hield's primary skill but he's become comfortable defending bigger players, adding positional versatility and last year was perhaps the best all-around season of his career — 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game with a 61.4 true shooting percentage.
Almost every team in the NBA could use a perimeter threat of Hield's caliber but several of the teams that were most interested at the deadline last season — the Cavs, Lakers and Clippers — have handcuffed themselves with other contracts and probably don't have the assets or flexibility to get in the mix here. But there are still more than a few teams that can't afford to waste this opportunity.
Teams that really need to trade for Buddy Hield: 3. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks are risking it all on the on court chemistry of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving and need to pack the court with as many shooters as possible to keep things open for them. They don't have a ton of appealing assets to offer in a trade but if they can get Indiana's interest, they really need to make a deal.
The Mavericks won't get a better shooter or a wing threat with more gravity around Doncic and Irving and it's almost scary to imagine what Hield could do working around them — remember, he shot 47.6 percent on wide-open 3-pointers last season. No one is going to do more with the the gravity of Doncic and Irving and no one is going to draw more attention away from them.
The Pacers have almost no use for Hardaway but he's a tradable asset for later in the season and they pick up a 2025 first-round pick which is a reasonable price for their trouble. In case you forgot, they will have to trade Hield at some point this season or lose him for nothing in free agency next summer.