Buddy Hield has been one of the best scorers on the Indiana Pacers since arriving via trade in 2022, but now the shooting guard could be on the move again. According to Shams Charania, contract extension negotiations between Hield and the Pacers have broken down, and now Indiana is just beginning to find a trade partner for the 30-year-old swingman.
The Pacers didn’t begin this process with the idea of trading Hield at the forefront of their mind. They reportedly offered him a contract extension over the offseason. However, the current belief is that the offer did not make Hield feel valued in Indiana.
Hield is said to be willing to play elsewhere, and perhaps he sees the writing on the wall in Indiana. With players like Bennedict Mathurin, Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, and Bruce Brown all set to see time on the wing this season, Hield’s presence may not be entirely necessary for Indiana.
Yet, as mentioned, Hield’s ability to shoot can’t be ignored; he leads all other NBA players in 3-point makes over the past five seasons and that skillset alone will interest other teams around the league. He’s a 40 percent shooter from distance and is arguably coming off his best season as far as efficiency, with a career-best .596 effective field goal rate.
- Buddy Hield stats last season: 16.8 PPG, 5 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.2 SPG
Hield is in the final year of his contract and is set to have a cap hit of $19.2 million for the Pacers this season. That is unless a trade can be reached. If he’s not traded, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Hield, who started 73 of his 80 appearances last season, returns to the starting lineup for the Pacers in 2023 thanks to the presence of other younger players the team is more committed to in the long run, as mentioned above.