With the NBA aiming to start training camps July 11 in Orlando, it looks like a second Sacramento Kings player has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Sam Amick are reporting guard Buddy Hield had a positive coronavirus test, joining teammate Jabari Parker as the two players from the organization who reportedly have contracted COVID-19.
Kings guard Buddy Hield has tested positive for coronavirus, sources tell me and @sam_amick.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 25, 2020
The silver lining to this news is that both Hield and Parker can self-isolate for enough time prior to making the trip to Orlando for the NBA’s planned restart. Should Hield or Parker be unable to play when the league resumes, Sacramento can sign a replacement player after July 1.
Amick added that part of the motivation to sign free agent forward Corey Brewer was due to Parker’s positive test.
Hield is a big part of the Kings’ rotation. The 27-year-old is averaging 19.8 points, while shooting 39.5% from the 3-point line. Head coach Luke Walton moved Hield to a bench role in late January, and the move paid immediate dividends.
Sacramento went 13-7 over its next 20 games, getting the Kings back into playoff contention. Since becoming the sixth man, Hield’s NETRTG improved by 9.3 points per 100 possessions.
There are a ton of factors still at play for the NBA’s planned restart, but if the news of positive tests among players comes sooner than later, it may work to the league’s advantage given the timing of the results.
With a targeted July 31 restart, teams have plenty of time to thoroughly test players and keep them in isolation if they come back positive.
Hopefully Buddy will be ready to go long before then.