Flying under the radar due to rampant speculation of where NBA superstar Damian Lillard will be playing by the time the 2023-24 season kicks off, another talented player who could be the final piece for a contending team has reportedly hit the trade block. If they move fast, the Chicago Bulls could address their greatest weakness by trading for one of the NBA’s greatest sharpshooters in Buddy Hield.
The Indiana Pacers are in the process of making the clear transition to retool around a young core led by All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton, and will want to construct the team around their newfound franchise cornerstone. After a very promising rookie season from Bennedict Mathurin and making a $45 million free agency splash by signing Bruce Brown, Hield is now the odd man out of this starting five.
Set to turn 31 years old in just a few months, Buddy clearly isn’t the right man for this developing Pacers team moving forward. That being said, a player who shoots over 42% from deep on over 8 long-range attempts per game is someone that any contending team should be taking a very close look at.
Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news regarding Hield’s mutual desire to part ways with Indiana.
Buddy Hield would be a great addition to the Bulls and the NBA’s worst three-point shooting offense.
Admittedly, the Bulls did make a few moves to address their shooting deficiencies by adding Torrey Craig and Jevon Carter in free agency, but they’re still far from enough to bring this team back to even a league-average level. Craig and Carter combined for 3.1 threes per game last season and have made 34.7% and 39.7% of threes taken in their respective careers. Hield on the other hand attributed for 3.6 threes per game on his own last season, while maintaining a 40.2% clip from beyond the arc throughout his career.
Hield’s combination of efficiency and high volume is an incredibly rare thing to see on this team. If he were to join the Bulls, he’d immediately become the sixth man and be the most trusted offensive weapon off the bench. If Chicago fails to meet their expectations this season and is forced to trade DeMar DeRozan away before he leaves in free agency next summer, Hield would immediately step in to fill the void.
Hield clearly wants to play a big role on a competitive roster, and Chicago is one of the very few teams that check both of those criteria. If the Bulls are willing to send out draft capital, Hield could even be acquired without expending any talent currently on the team if they attach Lonzo Ball’s deadweight contract to the deal. It’s not a world-shaking move, but it could be just enough to remedy one of the NBA’s worst offensive teams.