10 Players the New Orleans Pelicans gave up on way too soon

New Orleans Pelicans, Chris Paul (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans, Chris Paul (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Buddy Hield
New Orleans Pelicans, Buddy Hield (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

8. Buddy Hield

The Pelicans drafted Buddy Hield with the sixth overall pick in 2016. The 6’4 guard was coming off a dominant senior season at the University of Oklahoma, where he averaged over 25.0 points per game and was one of the best scorers in the NCAA. New Orleans was hoping that he blossomed into a star, but his time with the Pelicans last just 57 games.

Hield was playing just 20 minutes per game and shooting under 40 percent from the field when the rookie was traded to the Sacramento Kings as part of a five-player deal that sent DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans. The 6’4 guard was shooting 36.9 percent from 3-point range and showed flashes even without playing massive minutes.

Hield became a starter in his third season, where he played all 82 games and averaged over 20 points per game. He was traded to the Indiana Pacers in 2022 as part of the Domantas Sabonis for Tyrese Haliburton swap. Hield remains one of the league’s best 3-point shooters, and he can get red hot on any given night.

Buddy Hield is in his seventh NBA season, and the 30-year-old has plenty left in the tank. He is shooting over 40 percent from 3-point range for his career, and the Pelicans have struggled to generate a high volume of threes in recent years.