Kings Trade Rumors: Harrison Barnes, Buddy Hield Unlikely to Be Moved

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield plays during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Sacramento Kings are reportedly unlikely to trade Harrison Barnes or Buddy Hield ahead of the March 25 deadline.

"I talked to a couple people just in the last couple hours just to get a feel for these guys and what people around the league think may happen," Sports Illustrated's Howard Beck said on the Locked on Kings podcast. "One of the things I heard was that essentially they're only going to trade Barnes and Hield if they're blown away by an offer. Not because they overvalue them, but because Vivek Ranadive wants to be competitive. He doesn't want to tank."

Barnes and Hield have been among the names mentioned as potential trade targets for contenders, in large part because of the Kings' continued struggles. Sacramento is 16-24 coming into Thursday night, ranking 13th in the Western Conference. While the NBA's new postseason play-in gives the Kings a fighting chance at extending their season, they're currently 3.5 games behind 10th-seeded Memphis.

The Kings have not made the playoffs since 2006, which is likely playing a huge factor in the franchise's desperation. Governor Vivek Ranadive purchased the Kings in 2013—likely saving them from relocation in the process—with promises of turning the team around. He's largely floundered in delivering on that promise, with the Kings shuffling through front-office executives and coaches while showing little improvement on the floor.

Barnes and Hield have both flaws and obvious positives to their games that make them attractive to contenders. Barnes is a solid perimeter defender who is about a league-average shooter from distance—good enough to garner respect—and has flashed some improvement in playmaking this season. 

Hield might be the world's most lights-out 37 percent shooter. The 28-year-old guard is shooting 10.4 threes per game this season, more than every player other than Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. He performs adequately in the other aspects of the game, but his main calling card is stretching the floor from the 2 spot.

Moving on from Hield might allow the Kings to explore the De'Aaron Fox-Tyrese Haliburton backcourt on a more extended basis.