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The Sixers bank on Buddy Hield

The Philadelphia franchise trusts its own instincts, despite Embiid’s injury, and acquires one of the best shooters on the market. In return, five players head to Indiana.

Indiana Pacers forward Buddy Hield (7) drives to the basket during the first half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden.
Paul RutherfordUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

The first big-name signing in the NBA dropped on the day the transfer market closes. The Philadelphia 76ers, the team with the best three-point percentage in the league, have acquired Buddy Hield, one of the best three-point shooters in the competition. In exchange, they will send Marcus Morris, Furkan Korkmaz and three second rounds to Indiana, according to The Athletic journalist Shams Charania. Hield is one of 50 players to have a career three-point shooting percentage greater than 40%.

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Sharp shooting

Taking into account who is in charge in the Sixers offices (Daryl Morey) and his predilection for teams that shoot a lot from the perimeter (remember his Rockets who almost reached the NBA Finals) it seems to some extent logical that being the best in the league in this particular aspect may not be enough for him. Because the Sixers have the best percentage - but they are 16th in attempted shots from beyond the paint (32.6 per game). With Hield onboard they can maintain efficiency by increasing volume.

Beyond the numbers from long distance, the Philadelphia team urgently needed to improve its offensive capabilities since in the short-to-medium term, at least, they will not have their best play. A Joel Embiid who has had meniscus surgery and who will be reevaluated in a month. The record without the Cameroonian this season is 4-12.

Another advantage of the trade for the Sixers is that they can create a large cap space at the end of the season. Hield’s contract ends in the summer and they could have up to $55 million in salary space. But they also have their bird rights (Qualifying Veteran Free Agent Exception), so they could sign him again if they consider it appropriate. Whichever way you look at it, it seems like a good transfer for Philadelphia. Hield was having a good season in Indiana, but the rumors about a possible transfer, which come from afar, had not disappeared. The shooting guard was suggested for the Lakers and it seemed clear that his departure would have been imminent in any case - especially since Tyrese Haliburton has taken over the franchise and two other young outside players, Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard, are clearly growing. Indiana was no longer the right place for him.