The NBA never turns off entirely, even when it is mid-September. Shams Charania further proved that point with his report on Wednesday afternoon, which caught the attention of New York Knicks fans.
A lot went wrong for New York in the second round of the playoffs against Miami, but nothing was more horrendous than watching the team shoot 29% from three. For reference, the Heat shot 38% from deep during their NBA Finals run.
To address that weakness, the Knicks set their sights on Donte DiVincenzo in free agency and signed him to a four-year contract. He shot a career-high 39.7% in Golden State last season and is a career 36.2% shooter.
DiVincenzo will help to strengthen New York’s shooting woes, but the team could use additional help. No, Evan Fournier, that doesn’t mean you.
There’s a “new” option the Knicks could pursue, and it’s a player they’ve been linked to several times over the past few years.
Should the New York Knicks seriously consider a trade for Buddy Hield?
Buddy Hield has only spent a season and a half in Indiana after being part of the Tyrese Haliburton trade, and based on Shams Charania’s report, he could start 2023-24 elsewhere (subscription required).
"Hield is open to a trade elsewhere, according to rival team sources, but no deal is imminent and there aren’t any current substantive talks with any other team. The Pacers did offer Hield an extension in recent weeks, but it’s believed their proposal did not make the seven-year guard feel desired, league sources said."
The 30-year-old guard shot 42.5% from three last season, the highest for him since 2018-19 (42.7%). As Charania noted, he’s made more three-pointers than any other player over the past five seasons (even Steph Curry).
For a team like the Knicks that needs shooting, Leon Rose could be thinking about a Hield trade. However, New York’s roster is overflowing with guards, and Hield’s arrival could mean Quentin Grimes, who’s the far better defender, would come off the bench. The decrease in minutes would throw a wrench in the 23-year-old’s development.
The Knicks could try to get by throwing Evan Fournier in a deal with draft assets, but would that be a wise move? Like Fournier, Hield’s on an expiring contract, as he’s set to enter unrestricted free agency next summer. If New York traded for him, there’d be the risk he’d leave soon after he arrived.
As nice as it might be to think about the Knicks having Hield’s shooting, the idea of New York trading for him would’ve been more appealing a couple of years ago. Not to mention, the Pacers are likely seeking a more valuable player than Fournier, and he’s the only player the team should be willing to give up in this scenario.