Buddy Hield’s relationship with the Sacramento Kings has gone downhill since the team fired former coach Dave Joerger. His contract extension negotiations with the team were public and contentious last offseason, and while the two sides eventually settled on a four-year deal worth up to $106 million, things didn’t exactly get easier from there. Joerger’s replacement, Luke Walton, benched Buddy Hield in favor of Bogdan Bogdanovic midway through the season, and Hield openly complained about his role on several occasions throughout the season.
Now, according to The Athletic’s Jason Jones, things have hit a new low. Hield is reportedly not returning phone calls from Walton. To make matters worse, Hield seems to be openly hinting at an interest in a trade. The team he is most often linked to is the Philadelphia 76ers. When they hired Doc Rivers as their new coach, Hield liked a Twitter post about the move.
The Kings recently hired Monte McNair as their new head of basketball operations, and though he has not made any public statements about his plans for the team or Hield’s long-term place on the roster, his past in Houston suggests that he likely values Hield’s shooting quite a bit. Still, the Kings are in a difficult position, as Bogdanovic will be a restricted free agent this offseason and should command plenty of interest from teams with cap space. A max extension is surely coming for De’Aaron Fox as well. Would the Kings be willing to give three guards pricey long-term deals? That is unclear at this point.
If Hield does become available through trade, the Kings will surely be able to drum up a robust market. Elite 27-year-old shooters with four years of team control don’t become available very often. The Kings would surely prefer to keep such a rare asset, but if his relationship with Walton is really so unsalvageable, the Kings may need to explore what’s out there.
Courtesy: CBS Sports