‘We’d like to keep him’

Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan wants Buddy Hield to return for the 2023-24 NBA season. Following unsuccessful extension talks between both sides last week, Hield informed the Pacers that he’s open to a trade. Indiana brass remains optimistic that he’ll rescind his trade request.

Last Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Milwaukee Bucks were reported as the teams interested in trading for the 6-foot-4 guard. Hield, 30, is entering the final season of the four-year, $94 million contract he signed with the Sacramento Kings in 2019.

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On Tuesday, Buchanan opened up on the Hield situation. “Buddy is someone that we love having on our team, we want him on our team this year,” he said. “The business of basketball comes into play at times, we’ve had talks with him about an extension and those talks are at a half right now. That’s not to say that they’re done.

“We’d like to have Buddy with us, we have no intention of trying to move Buddy, but it’s also our job to listen if opportunities come that help us improve the team. That’s what we have to do as a front office. But our intention is to have Buddy on the team this year and have him be a big part of our group.”

Indiana Pacers general manager Chad Buchanan wants to retain Buddy Hield for the 2023-24 season, believes the former Sacramento King will sign a new extension with Indiana

According to a few NBA insiders, Hield is willing to play for any team.

“Hield is open to a trade elsewhere, according to rival team sources, but no deal is imminent and there aren’t any current substantive talks with any other team,” Charania reported last week.

“The Pacers did offer Hield an extension in recent weeks, but it’s believed their proposal did not make the seven-year guard feel desired, league sources said.”

In February 2022, Sacramento traded Buddy Hield and Tyrese Haliburton to the Pacers for Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Domantas Sabonis, and a 2023 second-round draft pick.

Hield made 73 starts in 80 games of the 2022-23 season, averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 31 minutes per game. Moreover, he shot 45.8% from the floor, 42.5% beyond the arc, and 82.2% at the foul line.

In Indiana’s 119-113 loss to the New York Knicks on Jan. 11, 2023, Hield recorded a season-high 31 points, eight boards, and one steal in 33 minutes as a starter. He finished 11-of-20 (55%) shooting from the field and knocked down seven 3-pointers.

The Pacers guard finished second in 3-pointers (288) last season behind only Golden State veteran Klay Thompson (301). Hield’s 3-point shooting percentage (42.5%) also ranked ninth overall.

Needless to say, Chad Buchanan has his work cut out for him right now.

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