Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield. (file photo)
The trade rumours surrounding “Buddy” Hield have recently ramped up on social media, but the new general manager of the Sacramento Kings revealed no immediate plans to move the Bahamian shooting guard.
Kings GM Monte McNair singled out “Buddy” Hield at his introductory press conference to the franchise.
McNair said that Hield is an “elite shooter” and his spacing is important for the team. McNair also made it clear that he wants Sacramento to up the pace next year.
Hield has been the subject of trade rumours since the Kings’ season ended and his recent social media activity has seen those talks increase.
The Instagram account Embiidfeed reposted a tweet from The Hoop Central which stated that the 76ers have expressed trade interest in Hield (via Legion Hoops Ross).
Hield was tagged in the post and followed by liking the post. When a user commented “Trust the Process”, Hield replied “big facts.”
Several NBA blogs and media outlets picked up the activity on the potential trade after it was interpreted as a pro-76ers comment.
A possibly tenuous situation between Hield and the Kings front office this offseason begun during his exit interview.
Following the Kings’ regular season finale, Hield spoke with reporters on several topics, most noteworthy was his reply when asked whether he would be content to continue his role off the bench next season.
“Y’all know me, y’all know how I talk, y’all know how I feel with a lot of stuff, y’all can read me well, so I’ll let y’all answer that for yourselves,” Hield said.
Hield played sparingly in several of Sacramento’s seeding games, including a season low 11 minutes in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged just 14.3 points per game on 43 per cent field-goal shooting in Orlando.
“I just have to work on my game, stay locked in, focused on what I got to do and just remember where I came from, what got me here in the league and how I can stick around for a long time,” Hield said.
Just days after Hield’s comments, both Kings general manager Vlade Divac and assistant general manager Peja Stojakovic resigned from their roles in the organisation.
Joe Dumars will take over as interim executive vice president of basketball operations.
Hield’s development was one of the many issues Divac discussed with the Sacramento Bee following his resignation. “He didnt like the role he was in. I support his feeling...he has to look in the mirror and see what he does right and does wrong,” Divac said.
“He is an elite shooter….but he has to provide that (more consistently). He has to do a better job defensively.”
In 72 games this season, Hield averaged 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and three assists per game. He shot 43 per cent from the field and 39 per cent from three-point range.
He started 44 games this season before he was moved to the bench in favour of Bogdan Bogdanovic on January 24.
The Kings went 13-7 once Hield moved to the bench, prior to the league’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March.
Last November, Hield concluded his contract negotiations with the Kings and reached the most lucrative deal ever signed by any Bahamian athlete when he agreed to a four-year, $94 million contract extension.
During the same time period, the Kings offered Bogdanovic a four-year, $51 million deal which remains unsigned.
Third year point guard De’Aaron Fox will be eligible for his max extension next year and 2018s second overall pick, Bagley, the following year.