Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield could be traded again and a number of teams are showing interest.
Ever since he was relegated to the bench, the Sacramento Kings have been winning at a more efficient rate and Hield has proved his worth, putting up almost identical numbers in less time. Prior to the stoppage of play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was more efficient as the Kings’ first option off the bench than he was as a starter.
In 20 games off the bench this season, Hield has been averaging 19.4 points in 26.6 minutes per game as opposed to 20 points in 34.4 minutes per game as a starter. He has also been shooting better from the field – 46.5 percent to 41.6 percent – and has been more deadly from distance, shooting 47.6 percent from downtown compared to 36 percent when he was a starter. For the season, he is averaging 19.8 points in 32 minutes per game, shooting 42.9 percent from the floor and 39.5 percent from three-point land. He is second in the league in made three-pointers at 244, averaging 3.8 per game, and was on pace to surpass the franchise record of 278 he had a year ago before the stoppage of play.
For now, he is just working out at home on a regular basis and trying to stay active and sharp just in case the season resumes. The Kings are just three and a half games out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
There’s no doubt that Hield is worthy of being in the starting line-up, and the 6’4” two-guard of the Kings proved that every day he was on the court. It’s no secret that he prefers to be in the starting line-up, and if Head Coach Luke Walton continues to bring him off the bench, he’ll likely aggressively pursue a trade. According to reports, he is unhappy with his role in coming off the bench and has spoken out about the state of the team publicly before.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and Detroit Pistons are just some of the teams listed as possible suitors for the 27-year-old Bahamian who is having another progressive season. He is durable, missing just two games in four seasons, and is near 20 points per game for the second year in a row. Hield is one of the best shooters in the league, averaging near 40 percent from distance for the fourth year in a row, and he won the league’s three-point title during the NBA All-Star Weekend this year.
According to NBA Bleacher Report, the Pistons are one of the more aggressive teams trying to acquire Hield, particularly because of cap space and their need to acquire a legitimate star to go along with Blake Griffin and Derrick Rose. Hield inked a four-year contract extension worth $86 million with the Kings last fall that could reach up to $106 million with incentives – certainly numbers conducive for a player in the starting line-up and playing huge minutes.
Bogdan Bogdanović, of Serbia, who replaced Hield in the Kings’ starting line-up, is a restricted free agent at the end of the year. He averages just 14.5 points per game.
Hield is one of the rising young stars in the league. He is one of the league’s most feared shooters, particularly in late-game situations, and a legitimate offensive threat. With a speedy point guard like De’Aaron Fox breaking down defenses and finding Hield in space, a number of high percentage shots and numerous offensive opportunities could be created.
In Fox and Hield, the Kings could have one of the more dynamic and offensive productive backcourts in the league for years. However, Hield’s contract takes up a lot of cap space when one considers that the Kings will have to pay young stars Fox and Marvin Bagley III in the not too distant future. Fox will be a free agent in 2021, and Bagley will hit the free agent market a year later.
At this point, it appears that Hield would be more useful and beneficial to teams looking to shore up their shooting for a possible deep playoff run, should the season resume in the face of COVID-19. Hence, the Sixers and Lakers could be ideal landing spots for the Bahamian sharp shooter.
Out of the 16 teams that are currently in the playoff picture in the NBA, the Sixers and Lakers are ninth and 12th in three-point shooting respectively.
Hield would almost certainly instantly provide a huge boost.