Since entering the league in 2016-17, Buddy Hield has established himself as one of the best three-point shooters in the NBA. Now, he finds himself on the outs in Indiana, slowly falling out of the Pacers rotation.
Hield and the Pacers were unable to come to terms on a contract extension this past offseason, which led to exploratory trade talks according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania (subscription required). However, Charania noted that “no deal is imminent…”
Fast forward to two days before the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline, and the tune surrounding Hield has changed. Per NBA insider Marc Stein, the Pacers have been dangling Hield’s expiring $18.6 million salary in trade packages. The veteran sharpshooter trails only Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry in total threes made since 2016-17 (1,840) -- several contending teams could use a player of Hield’s caliber to stretch the floor.
Not to mention, the Pacers made a blockbuster trade for two-time All-NBA forward Pascal Siakam last month, who is on an expiring contract and expected to receive a lucrative long-term extension this offseason. So, if they’re parting ways with Hield, maintaining their financial flexibility is imperative.
With that said, here are the three best trade packages the Pacers can get for Buddy Hield, given the circumstances, which have all been run through Fanspo’s NBA Trade Machine to ensure a successful transaction on both ends.
3. New York Knicks acquire Buddy Hield to solidify their bench
Following their acquisition of OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn in a deal that sent R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley to the Toronto Raptors, the New York Knicks bench production has taken a hit. Since then, reports have surfaced that New York is looking to add a shot creator to bolster their second unit ahead of the deadline.
Here, the Knicks turn the expiring contract of Evan Fournier (who has fallen out of their rotation completely dating back to last season) into another expiring contract who can step in and contribute for them right away.
Hield may not profile as the type of on-ball playmaker the Knicks are looking for, as indicated by the players they’ve been most heavily linked to (Jordan Clarkson, Malcolm Brogdon, Alec Burks, and Bruce Brown), but he certainly gives the Knicks bench a much-needed scoring punch.
For the Pacers, they take on Fournier’s contract, which has a team option this offseason if they wish to opt in and keep him on their payroll to use as salary filler for any potential moves in 2024-25 or to see if he could emerge as a rotational piece. Plus, they get a second-round pick, which the Knicks are fine giving up because it isn’t their own and they have an abundance of second-round selections.
Overall, this profiles as a low-risk, medium-reward transaction for both sides.