Sacramento Kings: Have we seen the last of Buddy Hield in Sacramento?
Sacramento Kings guard Buddy Hield reignited rumors that he has grown unhappy.
Heading into the restart, the Sacramento Kings received a slim-to-none chance to break their long postseason drought.
Sure enough, they were officially eliminated from playoff contention on August 11th, eventually finishing the restart with a 3-5 record, extending their drought to 14 years. With their season now over, the Kings must focus on Buddy Hield and his future with the franchise.
With their $94 million man forcibly transitioning to a bench role midseason, the Kings might have set themselves up on a collision course with disaster from the beginning.
After their final game of the season on Thursday, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee asked Hield what everyone in Sacramento was dying to know. To the dismay of some fans, it might not have been the response they were hoping to hear.
“Asked Buddy Hield if he can be content with his role moving forward with the Kings. He did not say yes.”
Since January, Hield and the Kings have been on edge after head coach Luke Walton swapped the guard out of the starting lineup for Bogdan Bogdanovic to spark a turnaround.
Hield was not fond of his bench role, despite the fact that it was propelling Sacramento to some late-season success before the hiatus. These latest comments only add fuel to the fire that has been burning since January.
Earlier in the season, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Hield’s trade request might be imminent due to his benching.
“If Hield remains displeased with his role, a source with knowledge of his thinking said he might request a trade. He believes he is a starter in the NBA, and there’s no guarantee he’ll get that job back, given how the team has played lately.”
Indeed, the Kings were 13-7 since the Hield benching on January 24th until the coronavirus pandemic halted the season in March.
With all of that success, it seemed like the Kings might have to ultimately choose between retaining Buddy Hield or re-signing soon to be restricted free agent Bogdan Bogdanovic, a decision that Sacramento might have already made.
Back in April, Jason Jones of The Athletic reported that Sacramento intends to match any offer made towards Bogdanovic, calling him a “top priority.”
If the Kings do indeed re-sign Bogdanovic long-term, Hield will all but certainly demand a trade request if it means he remains on the bench.
Buddy Hield’s future with the Sacramento Kings remains very cloudy.
After his comments following Thursday’s season-ending victory, it appears Hield has not changed his stance, and the Kings will have some drastic choices to make this offseason.
If this is the end of Buddy Hield’s tenure with the Kings, the guard did not exactly end things on a high note.
Despite 28 points in Thursday’s 136-122 win over the Los Angeles Lakers, Hield averaged just 14.3 points per game on 43.1 percent field goal shooting in the eight seeding games — a somewhat sour ending to his season.
While Hield and the Kings seem destined to split, nothing is set in stone just yet. Although unlikely, anything can happen in today’s NBA.
If Hield publicly requests a trade during the offseason, the 27-year-old will have plenty of suitors trying to pry him away from the Sacramento Kings.