Buddy Hield has been one of the most prolific shooters in the NBA over the last few seasons for the Indiana Pacers, but as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic yesterday, Hield and Indiana are working together to find a new home for him after contract negotiations between the two parties stalled out.
Per Charania, the Mavericks have registered interest in acquiring Hield's services, along with a slew of other teams.
"The Lakers were long rumored for Buddy Hield. You look at teams like Dallas, Philly, Milwaukee. Those are the types of teams that could definitely use a shooter like Buddy Hield, and they've had a level of interest in him over the last several months"- Shams Charania
Buddy Hield is one the more consistent shooters in the NBA and any playoff team would be silly to not at least bat an eye at potentially trading for Hield, but the Mavericks don't necessarily need to upgrade at guard right now.
But granted they are at least somewhat interested in Hield, perhaps they would try to consolidate one of their current guards to Indiana in the deal, or potentially expand the deal to add more players on both sides. Either option is intriguing, and it makes you wonder if Dallas' only goal in a potential Buddy Hield trade would be strictly to get him.
Charania reported that Indiana hasn't had any conversations on a potential deal materialize to this point in time, but with the NBA season right around the corner, you never know what can happen.
Here are two reasons the Mavericks should trade for Buddy Hield, and two reasons they shouldn't.
Reasons they shouldn't: 2. The Mavericks can't afford to add more "negative" defenders at guard
The Mavericks addressed their defensive inconsistencies on the wing by adding Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Grant Williams, and Derrick Jones Jr. this offseason, but they are still spread thin in terms of their defense that they are getting out of the guard position. Kyrie Irving can be a very engaged and savvy defender at the point of attack, but he won't be able to expel all of his energy on defense every possession during the regular season because of how much he'll have the ball in his hands on the other side.
Seth Curry is undersized and isn't as athletic as he once was, and Luka Doncic has his moments but overall lacks consistent effort on defense. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Jaden Hardy have too many mental lapses on defense to be as consistent as needed, leaving the newly acquired Dante Exum as one of their only true ball-stoppers at the guard position.
If Dallas sends Hardaway Jr. in a deal to Indiana for Hield, which would be the most plausible outcome, then the Mavericks would arguably get worse on defense. Hield has an abysmal career defensive rating of 115.2, and individual defensive statistics aside, he also doesn't pass the eye test on defense.
Hield routinely gets blown by and bodied on defense, not to mention he's also on the wrong side of 30 as of last December. Hardaway Jr. at least can hold his own in individual matchups even if he has a tendency to fall asleep when off-ball sometimes, and he's much more of an athlete than Hield despite being a few months older.
The Mavericks would obviously get even better on offense if they replaced a good three-point shooter in Hardaway, with perhaps a top-three shooter in the league with Hield. However, the defensive side effects of a potential Hield trade would probably neutralize just how much of a positive impact his shooting would have on Dallas, so it's unknown if the trade would yield a positive outcome for Dallas since they'd be so depleted defensively at guard.