After multiple years of speculation, the Indiana Pacers might finally make good on rumors of trading Buddy Hield. The veteran sharpshooter has reportedly failed to reach a contract extension with his incumbent team, leading Hield and the Pacers to work in concert to try and find a trade partner, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Hield's name has been floating in trade winds almost ever since he was dealt to the Pacers from the Sacramento Kings at the 2022 trade deadline as part of the Tyrese Haliburton-Domantas Sabonis deal. Though he played less than a season-and-a-half in Indiana, it's clear Hield made a stellar impression on Pacers fans.
I would love for Buddy to remain a Pacers.
I love the year we had!
Take emotion out of it though, we will be okay if he goes, opens up more opportunities for the youth movement, Mathurin & Nembhard in particular.
— WOJ ARTEST🇦🇺 (@NbaWoody) September 21, 2023
Pacers losing out on Bahama Buddy Hield is just too damn bad. Love the energy and his ability to knock down a clean 3. Great attitude on the court and will be missed by Tyrese the most I think. Bring in the youth movement now. Mathurin to the starting 5.
— Glitch (@ElJetLifeGlitch) September 21, 2023
Hield should have no shortage of suitors while playing 2023-24 on a $19.2 million expiring contract. While some teams may be scared off by the post-trade obligation of meeting his extension demands, others contending for a title this season—especially who need an extra dose of long-range firepower and floor-spacing—shouldn't hesitate sending draft compensation and matching salary to the Pacers in exchange for one of the greatest shooters ever.
Hello, Los Angeles Lakers!
Bro if the Lakers get Buddy Hield, then it’s a wrap.
— 🏀🏈 (@LakeShowNFL) September 21, 2023
if lakers get buddy hield its actually over for the league https://t.co/e37DEB6xEb
— Nick Yeezy (@nick__yeezy) September 21, 2023
Talk of the Lakers' interest in Hield peaked as Russell Westbrook's struggles with the purple-and-gold reached their nadir. But just like the trade of Hield and Myles Turner in exchange for Westbrook and a pair of first-round picks never materialized, league rules could keep Los Angeles from making a viable offer for him this time around.
D'Angelo Russell can't be traded until December 15th because he re-signed with the Lakers this summer. Beyond Russell, the purple-and-gold just don't have the salary ballast needed to swing a deal for Hield right now.
please trade him somewhere already, the hield-lakers trade rumor era needs to be over https://t.co/Mt6HKKhVAW
— Magic&Worthy (@thatsanicepick) September 20, 2023
I’m so serious when I say let buddy hield to the lakers go man😭 leave it in the past
— Never Take An L🤷🏽♂️ (@Nezzzooo) September 21, 2023
No matter where Buddy Hield ends up, it's clear the league will be watching.