The Pacers and representatives for shooting guard Buddy Hield are working together to find a potential trade for the eighth-year sharpshooter after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on an extension. Owed roughly $18.6MM on an expiring deal, Hield makes sense as a trade target for several teams across the league. Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype breaks down six trade destinations that could work.
Before coming up with hypothetical packages, Gozlan looked into what Indiana might look for in a trade. Gozlan writes that the typical framework for a deal of this nature is to bring in a player with an expiring contract and draft capital. However, Gozlan believes the Pacers should look for a player who can fit into the rotation right now rather than draft picks, given their postseason potential.
Gozlan names the Rockets, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Celtics, Nets and Sixers as the teams who would be the best fits for the former Oklahoma standout. The Rockets, who need shooting, could put together an offer using the salary of Kevin Porter Jr, given their recent attempts to trade him, alongside draft capital to entice the Pacers. However, if the Pacers are looking to add players, it’s unlikely they’d consider taking in Porter, even if it’s just for salary purposes, given his uncertain NBA future following his assault and strangulation charges.
The Mavericks, Grizzlies, Celtics and Nets are teams that would be able to provide win-now players for Indiana in a possible trade, Gozlan reasons. Tim Hardaway Jr, Luke Kennard, Malcolm Brogdon and Royce O’Neale are among the players named in the article who could appeal to the Pacers for help on the wing.
As for the Sixers, Gozlan writes that such a partnership could be contingent on a James Harden deal, specifically to the Clippers. If Philadelphia and Los Angeles struck a deal, Indiana could look to get in on the trade by sending Hield to the Sixers and bringing in Norman Powell from L.A, Gozlan says. For my money, Dallas, Boston and Brooklyn make the most sense of the named teams if Indiana wants a strong rotation piece in return.
We have more from the Central Division:
- The Bucks are another team that could make some level of sense for Hield in a trade, The Athletic’s Eric Nehm writes in his latest mailbag. However, such a trade would be risky, based on a combination of factors. For starters, it would likely take multiple rotation players being shipped out, and a better player could become available later on, leaving the Bucks without a path to acquire said player. Additionally, Hield has not played in a playoff game since making his NBA debut in 2016, which isn’t ideal for a contending team, Nehm writes.
- The potential of Hield coming to Milwaukee is just one of many topics Nehm writes about in his mailbag. Nehm also covers the assets the Bucks have available to trade, whether Giannis Antetokounmpo is better suited for point or post play this season, rotation questions, and more. I recommend reading the article in full here.
- With reports surfacing that the Bulls are trying to get in on the Damian Lillard sweepstakes, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago considers what such a move would look like in practice. As reported on Wednesday, Chicago is exploring the possibility of moving Zach LaVine in a multi-team deal that could send a combination of players and picks to Portland. Johnson writes that a move for Lillard would likely come with a DeMar DeRozan extension, meaning the Bulls would have to be 100% certain about a core of Lillard, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic winning together.
- Johnson adds in his mailbag that while the Bulls could theoretically look at moving Lonzo Ball, whose career has been plagued with injury, he gets the sense that nothing happens on that front this season, with Ball working hard to return to the court.