One of the biggest questions facing the Sacramento Kings this offseason centered around the future of Buddy Hield, who let his frustrations with head coach Luke Walton be known after the team’s time in the bubble ended.
Hield’s four-year extension worth up to $106 million kicks in this season. Although Hield has been at the forefront of NBA trade chatter the past few months, general manager Monte McNair is excited to see what the sharpshooter brings to the team.
“I think I’ve said in the past Buddy’s such an incredible talent, and especially his shooting at an elite level is something that we saw this offseason was at a premium,” McNair said during his recent media availability. “I think we’re really excited to see him in this system.”
There is no doubt about what Hield brings, especially on the offensive end. He is one of the best 3-point shooters in the league, connecting on 39.4 percent of his attempts last season. Hield averaged 19.2 points per game last season, behind only De’Aaron Fox. McNair wants the Kings to play with a faster tempo with new assistant coaches Alvin Gentry and Rex Kalamian running the offense, which suits Hield’s skillset.
“I think Buddy’s gonna look look really good in [the offense], excited to see him in training camp and how he can progress there,” McNair said. “I have the utmost confidence Buddy will continue to play hard every night, like he always has.”
No one can question Hield’s effort on the court. He wears his heart on his sleeve, but those emotions can get the best of him. Walton replaced Hield in the starting lineup with the now-departed Bogdan Bogdanovic, leading to a run that saw Sacramento win 13 out of its next 20 games. But Hield’s demeanor changed after that, and you could see his frustrations beginning to boil over, especially during the eight-game stint in Orlando.
After Hield refused to say he was content with his role following the final game in the bubble, the rumors began to swirl, compounded by Buddy liking social media posts suggesting he would welcome a trade.
Despite all of the offseason drama, McNair is confident Hield will be happy with his role on the team going forward.
“I’ve talked with with Buddy as well as his agent, I think we’re all on the same page,” McNair said. “I think we’re really excited to see Buddy kind of let free in in this system. I think he’s going to be fantastic.”
How do you think Hield will play this season?
On to some links:
McNair signed Fox to a five-year extension this offseason. The Athletic’s John Hollinger explains why he likes the way the Kings handled the negotiations.
Sacramento continues to round out its broadcast team for the upcoming season. James Ham of NBC Sports went one-on-one with Kyle Draper who will host the pre and postgame shows.