Should the Sixers bring back Buddy Hield?

Los Angeles Clippers v Philadelphia 76ers
Los Angeles Clippers v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Searching for a sharpshooter at the deadline, the Sixers pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire Buddy Hield from the Indiana Pacers. Hield is in the last year of a 4 year $94 million contract that he signed during his previous tenure with the Sacramento Kings. Hield’s impending free agency raises the important question: Should the Sixers resign the 31 year old sharpshooter?

Hield’s tenure with the Sixers started out with a bang with the eighth year forward scoring over 20 points in each of his first four games. In 25 games since then, however, he has failed to reach 20 points at all and has been streaky from the floor especially from 3 point range where his percentage has dropped to 38%, below his career average of 40%. In 29 games, Hield is averaging 12 points to go along with 3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. 

The best part of Hield’s short tenure with the Sixers so far has been his availability.

He has played in the most games in the NBA so far this year with 81 between Philadelphia and Indiana, which has been important for a shorthanded Sixers team. With Joel Embiid, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, DeAnthony Melton, Robert Covington, and Nic Batum all missing extended time, Hield has been available whenever the Sixers need him, which is vital in today’s NBA. In the age of load management, Hield has been a blessing for a Sixers team that has struggled to maintain a consistent rotation in head coach Nick Nurse’s first year at the helm. 

At his current average annual value of $23.5 million per year, it would be a mistake for the Sixers to bring back Buddy Hield next season.

His inconsistency since his hot start combined with his limited defensive ability makes him replaceable for a team that will be looking to retool with financial flexibility. The Sixers did not give up With Joel Embiid now 30 years of age, the Sixers have a limited window of contention with their star center. This makes the 2024 free agent period perhaps the most important one of Daryl Morey’s tenure as he has the chance to put an entire team together that gives the Sixers a chance to win a title. With every player but Embiid and Paul Reed hitting free agency, anything goes and it is important for Morey to make the right decisions going forward.

With that being said, if Hield is willing to accept a significant pay cut in order to maximize his chances at a championship, it is something the Sixers should consider. Despite his streakiness, he is still an above-average contributor from long range and could be a good mentor for any potential draft picks that the Sixers bring in.

All in all, the Buddy Hield trade has brought another threat to the Sixers rotation. He can start and provide valuable minutes off the bench night in and night out. Whether they bring him back or not all comes down to money and what sharpshooters are available in the free agent market and the draft.