Buddy Hield’s name has been in the rumor mill for as long as he’s been in Sacramento, but this may be the year the Kings actually trade him.
According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, a trade for Hield “is likely on the horizon” and, as things stand, the Los Angeles Lakers are the most realistic landing spot for the former No. 6 overall pick:
Of all the scenarios for a supporting player believed to be in play, one source to the situation indicated the Hield deal — which would involve forward Kyle Kuzma and would also likely require Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell to opt in to the final year of his deal (worth $9.7 million) and be included — appears the most promising thus far.
The Lakers’ interest in Hield was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic on Sunday and it sounds like there’s serious momentum on that front. However, the Kings’ rivals aren’t the only team that has expressed interest in Hield. According to Amick, the Philadelphia 76ers have also made calls about the 28-year-old shooting guard:
A source with knowledge of the talks said Philadelphia also has shown interest (unrelated to Simmons), with other teams believed to be engaged on that front as well.
So, whether it’s the Lakers, the 76ers or another team looking for a scoring punch at shooting guard, Hield will probably be playing for another team next season. The question now is: what will the return look like for the Kings?
As it pertains to the 76ers, we don’t know, but the Lakers’ trade package seems like it’s dependent on whether or not Montrezl Harrell exercises his $9.7 million player option. If he doesn’t, the Lakers could send Kentavious Caldwell-Pope to Sacramento, but that would likely cost the Kings more than just Hield. Additionally, it could eliminate the possibility of the Lakers’ first-round pick — the No. 22 pick — being involved in the trade package.
Whatever the case is, we’ll almost certainly know more soon, as the 2021 NBA Draft is on Thursday.