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30Q: How secure is Buddy Hield’s role as a starter?

Buddy is coming off a fantastic season, Bogdan is coming off a fantastic FIBA tournament. Is there a competition brewing?

Houston Rockets v Sacramento Kings Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Buddy Hield just had one of the best three-point shooting seasons in NBA history, based on both accuracy (42.7%) and volume (651 attempts). Because of this, there’s a common assumption that Buddy Hield will remain the starter this coming year. And it’s a fair assumption, Buddy is one of the best young shooters in the league, naturally you’d want him providing spacing for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III.

But, as I was recently reminded of when listening to James Ham and Doug Christie’s latest podcast, around this time last year the assumption was that Bogdan Bogdanovic would be the starter. At the time the common assumption was that Buddy had found his groove coming off the bench as a scoring spark plug, with Buddy even saying in the previous season that he was comfortable coming off the bench.

An injury to Bogi forced Dave Joerger’s hand, Buddy became a starter, and Buddy played out of his mind. There was never any sense sending him back to the bench when he was playing so well.

We’re hopeful that Buddy continues his upward trajectory and ha another stellar season from beyond the arc. Buddy is a tremendous worker and has improved his game every season he’s been in the league. But what if he regresses? When if Buddy’s year was a bit of a fluke? If that happens, Bogdan Bogdanovic is waiting in the wings.

Bogi is coming off an incredible performance at the FIBA World Cup. He was named to the All-Tournament Team, and during the tournament he shot 35 of 66 from beyond the arc. Bogdan was playing catch-up all of last season, and even though his numbers at the end of the year looked similar to the year before, Bogi just looked off for most of the year. If Bogi continues playing well, he could put the coaching staff into an interesting dilemma, especially if Buddy struggles at all out of the gate.

Ultimately it’s a good problem to have, but it will be worth keeping an eye on how the coaching staff manages the Kings two shooting guards.