Even though they missed the playoffs a season ago, the Indiana Pacers are prepared to enter the 2023-24 season as a team on the rise. Tyrese Haliburton made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and head coach Rick Carlisle has a young, dynamic team that can make some noise in the Eastern Conference. This roster is very well-balanced, as they also have a handful of veteran and experienced talents such as Buddy Hield.
The sharpshooting wing is preparing for his eighth NBA season and his second full season with the Pacers, as he was traded to Indiana from the Sacramento Kings during the 2021-22 season. Hield has been a big part of the Pacers' offense in recent years, but the 30-year-old is reportedly open to the idea of being traded elsewhere after contract extension talks stalled this offseason.
On Tuesday, Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan addressed the ongoing rumors pertaining to Buddy and made it clear where the team stands on Hield's role entering the new season.
“I would say Buddy is someone we love having on our team. We want him on our team this year,” Buchanan stated, via Pacers reporter Alex Golden. “The business of basketball comes into play at times. We've had talks with him about an extension and those talks in a hold I'd say right now, but that's not to say they are done. We'd like to have Buddy with us and we have no intention of trying to move Buddy…
“Our intention is to have Buddy on the team this year and have him be a big part of our group.”
Hield is entering the final year of his four-year, $94 million contract that he signed with the Kings in 2019. Eligible for an extension this offseason, the team did make the veteran an offer, but according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, the new offer did not make him “feel desired.”
A trade involving Hield does not appear to be imminent and league sources have told ClutchPoints that Indiana is wanting at least a first-round pick in any offer for him. NBA insider Marc Stein recently claimed that the belief around the league is that Indiana won't get this kind of value for a player about to hit free agency.
In 80 games with the Pacers a season ago, Hield averaged 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game while shooting 42.5 percent from three-point range. His 288 total made threes during the regular season ranked only behind Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson (301).
With training camp set to begin next week, it appears as if Hield will remain with the Pacers ahead of the start of the 2023-24 season.