Buddy Hield is the type of player who could tilt the odds in a contender’s favor


If any NBA trade block resident deserves to be a contender in this season, then it is not James Harden nor Damian Lillard but the newcomer Buddy Hield. At least Dame Time is on the verge of a Conference Finals. Hield’s 548 games without a postseason appearance is the longest drought for any active player by a margin of 200 games. His 548 games played without a postseason appearance is the longest drought for any active player by a margin of 200 games.

However, Shams Charania’s reporting that the Indiana Pacers and Hield have agreed to find him a new home for the upcoming season after contract negotiations stalled should make ears perk up around NBA front offices. Hield is the third wheel on the NBA trade block, behind Harden and Lillard. Hield’s contract is easy to trade because he doesn’t have star power to demand a new team. However, his $19 million salary at the end of a 4-year deal in the final year makes it affordable.

Hield is a swing player with a unique skill set. He’s one of the most accurate long distance archers in the league. This is theoretical, because Hield has never played in the playoffs. Hield was a dominant player in the postseason the last time we saw him. He led Oklahoma to the Final Four. It took him

fewer matches to reach 1,000 3 pointers, than any other player. In December, he drained the quickest triple after tipoff in 40 years of the NBA 3-point line’s existence.Since 2018, no player has made more three-pointers than

Hield’s 1,381 triples. Hield’s 3-pointers tend to be catch-and shoot, but they are more consistent than Klay Thompson. They don’t just call Thompson Game 6 Klay. He, Steph Curry, and Draymond Green have produced championships, and Finals appearances on an assembly line.However, Hield’s eternal playoff virginity has overshadowed his career narrative. He’s stuck with teams that are stuck in quicksand despite having one of the most crucial skills for an NBA offense. Hield reached the pinnacle of his career when he scored 42 points the night after Kobe Bryant had passed, and defeated Devin Booker at the 2020 3-Point Contest.

Interestingly, the closest proximity Playoff A.C. Green has had to postseason play was a trade to the Lakers that fell through because Lakers general manager Rob Pelinkas was under the impression that Russell Westbrook was exactly what the doctor ordered for the NBA’s most near-sighted shooting team needed over one of its purest shooters. If they decide to try again with Hield, the Lakers can make up for their mistake. Hield’s lack of exposure to postseason play is one reason he’s underrated as he enters his pre-agency year. But his addition to an established contender would be enough to slightly tip the balance slightly.

Hield was part of the Kings trade that sent Tyrese Haliburton and Tristan Thomspon to Indiana for Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis’ acquisition, which was widely discredited, turned the Kings into a

revelation for the 2022-23 Season

whereas the Pacers sputtered out at midseason. Malik Monk, a former Kings teammate of De’Aaron Fox, and the Pacers had the second and third longest droughts up until last spring. Indiana’s timing was antithetical to their actions this summer, acquiring Bruce Brown and Obi toppin, as well as extending Myles. In the end, Indiana’s developmental track is not in line with Hield’s 30-year-old timeline. Hield would be a great addition to Harden. Tyrese Maxey could play more on the ball and Hield wouldn’t shoot as many games or series out of hand like Harden did when he activated hero-ball. Seth Curry was just purchased and they need to bulk up their defense. But you can’t have too many off ball shooters when two heliocentric players are on the court. Giannis’ subliminal hint that the Bucks are looking to build a champion has come true. But the addition of Hield will do two things at once: he will spread the floor and make them more dangerous at 2-guard. And he is still young enough to continue doing this at an elite level for the next half-decade. There’s still the remote possibility that a rebuilding franchise pony or a fringe playoff team could use him as a veteran, but Indiana would be cruel to trade Hield away to another team who might be on the bubble for next season. It would also be a bad gamble for any team that acquires Hield. Whatever the winds of trade bring him, the end of his postseason drought will soon be upon us. Follow DJ Dunson on Twitter: @