If the Boston Celtics want to be a bear, they should trade for a grizzly.

Buddy Hield, one of the best 3-point shooters in the NBA, reportedly has become available on the trade market. Hield and the Indiana Pacers are working together to find a trade partner, according to a report Wednesday from The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The Celtics should try to acquire Hield and triple down on an area of clear emphasis. Boston seemingly has left its once dominant defensive identity inside and instead pursued more help on the outside. The trade of defensive leader Marcus Smart this offseason, after Boston’s playoff run was halted due to its defense, made it clear. Especially since Kristaps Porzingis, who first and foremost provides shooting with size, was the player acquired in the three-team deal.

Brad Stevens and company now have an opportunity to add even more shooting around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

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Since Hield entered the league before the 2016-2017 season, only Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry has made more 3-pointers. Hield, who is the leader over the last five seasons, has hit 40.2% of treys in his seven-year career and is coming off a 2022-23 campaign in which he converted on 42.5% of his shots from behind the arc.

The No. 6 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft also took 8.5 attempts per game last season, which would have ranked second on the Celtics behind only Tatum, and averaged 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in 80 games played (73 starts).

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Hield, who is set to enter his age-31 season, would be a clear upgrade over Sam Hauser, 19-year-old rookie Jordan Walsh as well as offseason additions like Oshae Brissett and Svi Mykhailiuk. Those four figure to provide varying levels of contributions behind Tatum and Brown on the wing.

In order for the Celtics to acquire Hield, they’ll surely have to part with an asset or two. Malcolm Brogdon immediately comes to mind both because of the salary matching, but also because Brogdon was included in other trade reports this offseason. Those trade talks, along with how the Celtics handled Brogdon’s elbow injury, apparently has led to some unhappiness from Brogdon. And if Brogdon and the Celtics can’t repair their relationship, it becomes even more likely the Green move on.

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It would be a bit ironic for Boston to trade Brogdon back to Indiana given the Celtics acquired him from the Pacers last July. However, perhaps Stevens could get a third team in the mix or throw in some of the coveted second-round picks as a sweetener.

Hield will enter the final year of his contract this upcoming season, which pays him a base salary of $18.6 million. Any team to trade for Hield likely will do so with a contract extension in mind, especially since that is the reason Hield and the Pacers couldn’t come to an agreement.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck is on record saying the ownership group will spend in pursuit of championships. Stevens also has indicated he has the green light to spend. Maybe Hield’s shooting prowess, which is far and away his biggest strength, makes him worthy of such commitment.

Featured image via Nell Redmond/USA TODAY Sports Images