Hield has a base salary of $18.6MM with a cap hit of $19.3MM in the final year of his four-year contract. The news broke last week that the team was exploring trade possibilities after Hield was dissatisfied with Indiana’s extension offer. Buchanan believes extension talks will be rekindled at some point.
“Buddy is somebody that we love having on our team,” Buchanan said. “We want him on our team this year. The business of basketball comes into play at times. We’ve had talks with him about an extension. Those talks are at a halt, I’d say, right now, but that’s not to say that they’re done. We’d like to have Buddy with us.”
Buchanan also downplayed the notion that the team was shopping the sharpshooter wing.
“We have no intention of trying to move Buddy. But it’s also our job to listen if opportunities come to help us improve the team,” he said. “That’s what we have to do as a front office. Our intention is to have Buddy on the team this year and have him be a big part of our group.”
The GM also anticipates Hield will report to camp next week and won’t be distracted by the status of extension talks.
“I think Buddy is going to come in and be professional and be excited to be part of this team. He loves being part of this group,” Buchanan said. “He loves playing with coach Rick (Carlisle.) He and Tyrese (Haliburton) obviously have a connection together. He’s going to come in and play well and we’ll see what happens moving forward with him and the team.”
Hield will likely have to play a different role if he remains a Pacer. He was a starter for most of last season but the Pacers are intent on moving Bennedict Mathurin into the lineup. The Pacers also made a splashy free agent addition in Bruce Brown, who could cut into Hield’s minutes.