NBA Rumors: Sacramento Kings Not Actively Shopping Embattled Guard Buddy Hield
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield has been the subject of trade rumors for the better part of a year, but the franchise may not be looking to deal the 2016 John R. Wooden Award winner and former No. 6 overall pick. According to one NBA general manager, the team doesn’t appear to be actively shopping Hield in its discussions with other teams around the association.
“The logic is there. But there does not seem to be a lot of action there, not yet at least. It is not something where they seem to be shopping him very actively,” the GM told Forbes‘ league insider Sean Deveney. “Maybe it would be better to wait, to see how the season starts, but I don’t get the sense that they’re out there really laying the groundwork for a deal. They’re just not yet shopping him.”
While nothing appears to be in the works currently, the anonymous executive further opined that moving Hield — whose four-year extension with the club officially kicks in next season — could ultimately be in the Kings’ best interest.
“I think it makes a lot of sense, them trying to move him, start with a clean slate, they were better without him in the starting five, all of that.”
Although Hield has consistently been one of Sacramento’s best players — particularly on the offensive side — since he joined the team via trade midway through the 2016-17 season, the partnership became a particularly rocky one during 2019-20. Specifically, his playing time decreased dramatically, which may have contributed to a perceived rift between the 27-year-old and Kings head coach Luke Walton.
After starting in all 82 games for the club during the previous campaign and averaging a career-best 20.7 points per contest (per NBA Stats), Hield eventually lost his starting spot in ’19-20, coming off the bench in each of his final 28 appearances of the year. He saw a dramatic reduction in playing time as well, having logged just over 20 minutes per game in the league’s Orlando, Florida bubble after playing in excess of 30 minutes per contest over the first four months of the year.
Hield’s apparent demotion by Walton made a clear impact on the 2020 NBA Three-Point Shootout champion, who hasn’t been shy about sharing his feelings for the Kings organization to the world. As relayed by NBC Sports, Hield seemingly hinted that he would welcome a trade to the Philadelphia 76ers in September and has reportedly stopped returning his coach’s calls.
As noted by Deveney, he also referenced his relationship with Walton and the franchise to reporters during an exit interview in August.
“Y’all know how I feel with all the stuff. Y’all can read me well.”
As relayed by The Inquisitr, Kevin McCormick of 97.3 ESPN in South Jersey indicated that Hield could be an ideal addition for the 76ers.