Buddy Hield Trade Rumors: Market for Kings SG Viewed as 'Mixed at Best'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2020

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield reacts after making a three-point basket during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls in Chicago, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

In the event the Sacramento Kings want to entertain the idea of trading Buddy Hield, they could be facing an uphill battle.

The Sacramento Bee's Jason Anderson reported how Hield's trade market is "mixed at best."

"One top team official deemed the Bahamian sharpshooter untradeable with his four-year, $86 million contract, which includes likely incentives that would push it to $94 million," Anderson wrote. "However, not everyone shares that view."

When the contract came together in October 2019, it looked like an overpay but not to an egregious extent. Hield averaged 20.7 points and shot 42.7 percent from long range in 2018-19, and the Kings need to go above and beyond to keep their best players because they aren't a marquee free-agent destination.

Hield's value has dipped coming out of the 2019-20 season, though. His three-point attempt rate climbed to 59.2 percent while he made just 39.4 percent of his long-range opportunities, per Basketball Reference.

The Athletic's Shams Charania, Sam Amick and Jason Jones reported in February the 27-year-old was frustrated with being relegated to a bench role and might consider requesting a trade if his minutes didn't climb.

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Teams are obviously willing to pay handsomely for players who can space the floor. Joe Harris just agreed to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets for four years and $75 million, while Davis Bertans returned to the Washington Wizards for five years and $80 million.

The problem with Hield is that he could cost as much as $23.5 million annually on top of whatever assets a team has to give to Sacramento. The Kings almost assuredly wouldn't view this as a pure salary dump because Hield's performance didn't decline that significantly last season.

In lieu of a strong offer, holding on to the former Oklahoma star might be general manager Monte McNair's only move. And that holds especially true if McNair declines to match what the New York Times' Marc Stein reported was a four-year, $72 million offer sheet to Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Atlanta Hawks.