On Wednesday, it was reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania that extension talks had stalled between Buddy Hield and the Indiana Pacers, and now the team is seeking to deal the sharpshooting two guard.
Should the New Orleans Pelicans trade for Hield?
This should be a no-brainer. While the New Orleans Pelicans have made some moves this offseason to address this shortcoming, shooting is still one of the team’s biggest weaknesses. Last season, the team finished 23rd in made threes (11.0) and 29th in 3-point attempts (30.1).
And brother, can Hield help solve this problem. The former Pelican (we drafted him, remember?) has spent the last half-decade being one of the best outside shooters on the planet.
Hield would immediately improve the Pelicans’ overall team shooting (and, by extension, their spacing). And who knows, maybe he can also serve as a mentor to their 2023 first-round pick Jordan Hawkins.
What would it take to acquire him?
This is the part that isn’t so cut and dry. Since I’m far from what you’d call a cap expert, we’re going to avoid all the complicated numbers and focus on the recent historical precedent surrounding shooting specialists on the trade market. That way, we can at least figure out what we’ll need from an asset perspective to acquire Hield.
There are two players that have recently been traded that serve as reasonable comparisons to Hield. The first one is Memphis Grizzlies guard Luke Kennard. His situation is a little different because it was a three-team deal, and Kennard wasn’t on an expiring deal.
On the Grizzlies’ end, to get Kennard, (and a future second-round pick swap) they parted ways with Danny Green and three second-round picks. So basically, some marginal draft capital and a salary filler. Unfortunately, the team did burn some of their draft capital on the Josh Richardson trade deadline deal, but they still should have enough to put a package together.
The other example is Bojan Bogdanovic. I’d say that Bogdanovic is a more complete scorer. But like Hield, he’s an offensively-inclined player who was making around 20 million dollars on an expiring deal (the Detroit Pistons eventually extended him).
Anyway, to get him from the Utah Jazz, they traded Kelly Olynyk, Saben Lee, and cash considerations. Again, that situation is a little different because the Jazz were in the middle of cleaning out the closet from the past regime. By all accounts, the Pacers are in no rush to move off of Hield.
With that said, those two deals do give us a rough proxy of what a Hield deal may look like. Either they part ways with marginal draft capital and some salary filler or a starting-caliber player and a young flyer. But judging from those two deals, it doesn’t look like the Pelicans will need to cough up a first-round pick to pry Hield from the Pacers.
Then again, with many teams likely to be vying for his services, the Pacers may be able to drive up the price for Hield past the point of comparable situations. But as always, only time will answer that question for us.