The Indiana Pacers are prioritizing their young core going into next season, which unfortunately means that fan-favorite Buddy Hield is not going to be the most ideal fit. With both sides already in the process of finding a workable trade, the NBA world might have already been given an idea of where the veteran sniper could land.
“You look at teams like Dallas, Philly, Milwaukee,” Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium told The Rally on Thursday. “Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield.”
"The Lakers were long rumored for Buddy Hield… You look at teams like Dallas, Philly, Milwaukee. Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield."
— The Rally (@TheRally) September 21, 2023
The Philadelphia 76ers are a logical choice, considering that they might eventually be forced to deal away an unhappy James Harden and could therefore use some extra backcourt reinforcements. Regardless of how their current drama shapes up, they will be intent on contending for the Eastern Conference crown.
There is also plenty of incentive for the Milwaukee Bucks to seek perimeter depth. Hield is an offensive upgrade over some of the team's other supporting talent like Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton. The Dallas Mavericks have spent the offseason fortifying their defense, but they might be tempted to pursue another player who can get buckets. Although they are a capable 3-point shooting team, a player as accurate as the former Oklahoma star is difficult to overlook.
Buddy Hield has always been deadly from distance, but last season he shot over 42 percent from 3-point range. And that was while also playing 80 games for the Pacers. He averages 16 points for his seven-year career and is seemingly well-respected in the locker room.
Any of these three playoff squads can benefit from a positive presence, on and off the court, especially with the pressure to succeed being so immense. While Indiana looks toward a promising future, Hield could help a title contender check off a valuable box.