Hield is entering the final year of his four-year, $94MM contract. The cap hit on his contract for 2023/24 is approximately $19.3MM. The Pacers will have to decide whether to pursue an extension, trade him or allow his free agency to play out next summer.
“He’s under contract for another year, so we don’t have to early extend,” Pritchard said. “We could. … I think we’ve got to define his role next year. If we can get a role where he’s comfortable and we’re comfortable, then I’m not opposed to it. I’m not saying we’re going to do it for sure, but I’m not opposed to it.”
Hield had a solid season, averaging 16.8 points per game while making 42.5% of his 3-pointers and 51.8% of his 2-pointers. He’s also a positive locker room influence and is close with franchise player Tyrese Haliburton, which could increase the possibility of an extension.
“I love Buddy,” Pritchard said. “There’s some things he does that are not on the court. He keeps practice light.”
Pritchard also touched a couple of other major topics regarding offseason plans:
- Indiana will hold five draft picks in June, including three first-rounders. The Pacers will also have approximately $25MM in cap space. Pritchard said he’ll be open to wheeling and dealing to improve the roster. “I think there’s some opportunities for us to look at our draft picks and cap space and maybe put a bunch together and make big packages and go after some players,” he said. “I can’t say for sure that’s gonna get done. But I want to be really creative with how we go after the right players.”
- Regarding the team’s three free agents — forwards Oshae Brissett and James Johnson, and guard George Hill — Pritchard’s interest in re-signing them hinges on what happens during the draft and the early days of free agency. “Those are guys we’ll be looking at, but with all these draft picks and cap space, they’re not July 1 deals, they’re July 10,” Pritchard said. “I’m not trying to cop out on the question. I just don’t think we get to that decision tree until later on. I don’t want to hurt or help them or give them false hope or tell them no.”