NBA Rumors: 76ers Could Swap Al Horford For Buddy Hield, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Buddy Hield #24 of the Sacramento Kings handles the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on January 07, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
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Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield and Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford were among the players who failed to live up to expectations from the lucrative contracts that they got last summer. As the 2019-20 NBA season went on, both Hield and Horford found themselves being demoted to the bench and being mentioned in various trade rumors. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Sixers and Kings could benefit each other by engaging in a trade deal involving Hield and Horford in the offseason.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Sixers would be sending a trade package that includes Horford, Furkan Korkmaz, and a Top-20 protected 2020 first-round pick to the Kings in exchange for Hield. Though it would cost them a young player and a future first-round pick, the potential deal makes a lot of sense for the Sixers. Aside from getting rid of Horford’s massive contract, the Sixers would be acquiring a young and promising talent in Hield that would be a better fit alongside franchise cornerstones Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Hield may be currently considered the odd man out in Sacramento, but in Philadelphia, Buckley thinks that he could be the “contender’s missing piece.” Having an elite three-point shooter like Hield on their roster would tremendously improve the Sixers’ floor-spacing ability, which would make it easier for Embiid and Simmons to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team’s defense.

Aside from his ability to efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc, Hield is also a very reliable scoring option and playmaker. This season, the 27-year-old shooting guard is averaging 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from three-point range. Hield wouldn’t make the Sixers an instant favorite to bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy next season, but if he managed to build good chemistry with Embiid and Simmons, Philadelphia would undeniably become a formidable team to face in the Eastern Conference.

If the trade becomes a reality, Buckley believes that it would not only be beneficial for the Sixers, but also for the Kings.

“Horford plays a no-maintenance game that would allow him to guide Sacramento’s young players without stepping on their shoes. He sets hard screens, he stretches the floor, he moves the basketball, and he doesn’t miss defensive rotations. That’s not worth the money he’s collecting—especially as the 34-year-old progresses through this contract—but a success-starved squad like Sacramento might think it is. The Kings would also leave this exchange with a 22-year-old sniper in Furkan Korkmaz (a cheap Buddy Buckets replacement) and potentially a first-round pick in the upcoming draft.”

Though it wouldn’t help them clear salary cap space, the potential deal would allow the Kings to acquire a positive locker room presence and a veteran leader in Horford, while receiving a young and promising talent in Korkmaz and a future first-round pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process.