Report: Sixers, Warriors in ‘serious talks’ on Buddy Hield sign-and-trade

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Buddy Hield warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After losing Klay Thompson in a three-way sign-and-trade deal with the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of acquiring a brand new splash brother in Sixers free agent shooting guard Buddy Hield.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the two sides are in “serious talks” on a sign-and-trade that would send Hield out West.

The Sixers acquired Hield from the Indiana Pacers at the NBA trade deadline in exchange for three second-round picks, including the 36th overall pick in this year’s draft. Philadelphia also sent out Marcus Morris Sr. and Furkan Korkmaz in the three-team deal that included the San Antonio Spurs.

The marriage was quickly successful, as Hield averaged 22.2 points per game over his first four with Philadelphia, and the future looked bright despite the absence at that time of Joel Embiid.

As the season progressed, Hield struggled to find consistency, eventually losing his spot in the rotation during the Sixers’ round one matchup against the New York Knicks in the NBA playoffs. Hield ultimately bounced back with a 20-point performance in the final game of the series, but it was too little too late for the team’s playoff hopes.

Daryl Morey, the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, acknowledged that the acquisition of Buddy Hield did not go according to plan during his end-of-season press conference:

“Yeah, I think at no fault of Buddy’s; I think the fit was less good than I thought. Most of his time was without Joel, but I thought when Joel was back, that his impact and his shooting, that he’d get more open shots, and he didn’t. That’s on me that it didn’t work out as well as we hoped.” Morey said. “I still think it was one of the better acquisitions; I was really happy he showed what he could do in Game 6 and, based on how they’re guarding us, what he can do.”

While Morey acknowledged the deal did not work according to his vision, he did not close the door on bringing Hield back this offseason. After signing Paul George, Kelly Oubre, Andre Drummond, and Eric Gordon, it became less feasible, and a decision had to be made. While the Sixers will not be bringing back Hield, the attempt was worthwhile, and the team will now look to recoup assets in exchange for a free agent they frankly no longer had plans to bring back.

What could the Sixers receive in return?

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Buddy Hield warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s important to note that the Sixers, as a team that used cap space this offseason, will not create a trade exception from this deal, even if they do not receive any salary in return.

As for what Philadelphia could receive in return, the standard of dealing free agents for second-round picks has been firmly established this offseason, including by the Warriors themselves in the Klay Thompson deal. Philadelphia could effectively recoup one or two of the second-round picks they initially dealt to acquire Hield.

Outside of that, HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto reported Tuesday that “the Sixers had “Philadelphia has interest in Lester Quinones.”

It remains to be seen what the final deal may look like, but for Philadelphia, acquiring assets for free agents you realistically were not bringing back should be considered a win.