3. Kuzma for Buddy swap
The Pacers are another team looking to get back to the playoffs with a hefty expiring contract on their books. Buddy Hield is rumored to be on the block (subscription required), but the Pacers have not made a deal. He is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, but his defense and overall game leave plenty to be desired.
The Pacers have not made the playoffs since 2020 and have a hole at the four. Obi Toppin has been starting, but only averaging 21.5 minutes per game. Eighth-overall pick Jarace Walker is not ready, and Indiana could put some cost certainty on their books by acquiring Kyle Kuzma.
This deal gets Hield off the Pacers’ books and gives them a new starting power forward. Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle has had success improving jumpers in the past and could help Kuzma be an above-average 3-point shooter flanking Tyrese Haliburton. Myles Turner covers up some of his mistakes on the defensive end, and Kuz could play his best basketball with the Pacers.
The Wizards take two second-round picks and hope to flip Buddy Hield for additional draft capital before the deadline. Can they find a contender in desperate need of shooting? It only takes one team to make a deal.