Pacers To Keep Hield, Mulling Thompson Buyout

Echoing a report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe this afternoon, a source tells James Boyd of The Indianapolis Star that the Pacers plan to keep shooting guard Buddy Hield past the Thursday, 2:00pm CT trade deadline. As our Luke Adams mentioned, Hield’s $23MM cap hit and the $40MM he’s owed for the two seasons after this would make it difficult to get value for him.

Coach Rick Carlisle is known to value shooting, which is Hield’s specialty, although his .368 3PT% is the worst mark of his career.

You can never have too much shooting in today’s game,” Carlisle said Tuesday after Indiana lost 133-112 at Atlanta. “I think that’s an obvious fact. We’ve had our struggles this year … and so that was a priority for us as the deadline approaches.”

However, Boyd writes that Tristan Thompson‘s future with Indiana is far less certain, as the team is mulling a buyout of his $9.7MM expiring contract. Hield, Thompson, and Tyrese Haliburton were all acquired from the Kings on Tuesday in exchange for Domantas Sabonis, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb and a 2023 second-round pick.

Thompson, 30, has had the most limited role of his career this season in a crowded Sacramento frontcourt. He appeared in 30 games with the Kings, averaging 6.2 points and 5.4 rebounds in 15.2 minutes per contest.

Thompson should have some suitors on the buyout market if the Pacers decide to go that route. Given their place in the standings, it would make sense to give younger big men like Goga Bitadze and Isaiah Jackson more opportunities.

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