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Royal Reading: Kings won’t rush to make a Buddy Hield trade

The Athletic’s Jason Jones says the sharpshooting guard is potentially eyeing a move to the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It was obvious at the end of the Sacramento Kings time in Orlando that guard Buddy Hield isn’t happy. He was asked after the team’s final game if he is content with his role on the team and offered up this quote:

“Y’all know me. Y’all know how I talk. Y’all know how I feel. Y’all can read me well, so I’ll let y’all answer that yourselves.”

Hield’s new contract worth up to $106 million kicks in next season, but it’s clear he doesn’t want to play for Sacramento’s head coach Luke Walton. Hield was moved to the bench in favor of Bogdan Bogdanovic during the season, and that decision paid immediate dividends to the team. Hield has had an icy relationship with his last two head coaches and it looks like he is trying to maneuver his way out of the city.

The 27-year-old Hield averaged 19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and shot 39.4% from beyond-the-arc. His shooting will be tough to replace, especially with spacing being at a premium in today’s NBA.

The Athletic’s Jason Jones explored the possibility of moving Hield to the 76ers, after he liked a social media post saying Philadelphia has expressed interest in trading for him. With Hield’s large salary, Jones looked at how the numbers could work in a potential deal between the two teams.

“But in a deal with Philadelphia, they’d likely have to take back the salary of someone like Al Horford, owed $27.5 million next season in the second year of a four-year deal. Another option would be Tobias Harris, owed $34.4 million in the second year of a five-year deal. Yet, neither makes sense for the Kings’ long-term if finances are an issue. Also, Fox is eligible for an extension this offseason and owing a player like Horford that kind of money doesn’t make sense for a squad that is still looking to keep Fox, its best young player, and for a squad that isn’t a playoff team.”

New general manager Monte McNair should give a hard no on Horford, whose best days are clearly behind him. Harris would be an interesting piece. The Kings can’t expect any financial flexibility after a deal because Harris is due $149 million over the next four seasons.

The 28 year old could be a good fit in Sacramento’s system. With De’Aaron Fox controlling the play, Harris’ catch-and-shoot abilities would come in handy. He hit on 44% of his corner 3’s, and 86% of his makes from beyond-the-arc came off assists. Sacramento would have Harris, Bogdanovic, and Harrison Barnes as wings, giving head coach Walton plenty of options with his lineups.

According to James Ham of NBC Sports, McNair isn’t feeling any pressure to trade Hield, so don’t expect any drama to start building in the near future.

Do you think the Kings should keep or trade Buddy?