It seems like all hope has been sucked out of the NBA world since the season was suspended indefinitely. That hope may have been sucked out earlier from Sixer fans due to a lack luster season, but it feels like we’ve been devoid of a “real good” storyline for a long time. Thankfully, Buddy Hield appears to be shining a light of hope that may be striking Philadelphia sooner rather than later.
A lot of people have been out of the loop with sports news due to life being chaotic, so let me give some background into the situation that may be starting to unfold with the Kings’ star player.
A few months ago the Athletic’s Shams Charania — along with NBA writers Sam Amick and Jason Jones — published a story on the issues within the Sacramento Kings’ team. It went into great depths about some dysfunction around the team; including a very interesting quote in regards to Buddy Hield:
This story was published back in February but is still very revelant to Buddy Hield and his future as circumstances didn’t change for the most part since it’s initial release. Head Coach Luke Walton kept the sharpshooter on the bench until the season was suspended.
As of this writing, the Sacramento Kings put together a lackluster 28-36 campaign for the 2019-2020 NBA season. While that’s not horrible, it’s also pretty disappointing coming off of a promising season with a breakout from young point guard De’Aaron Fox. They currently sit outside of the playoff picture.
#BuddyHield2Philly has been a growing thing over the past few months; ranging from him dropping a “trust the process” quote over social media or him liking mock trades involving Philadelphia and Sacramento. If it is a real thing that can happen, the Sixers should go all-in on making a deal for Hield.
Heres why: I think it’s safe to say Al Horford and the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t winning a title with him on the roster. I wouldn’t call him completely cooked but his skillset doesn’t work with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and that’s a pretty big deal considering he’s making over $27 million a year. It would be best if Horford was put on a team that wants to compete right now and is in need of a center.
A team like the Sacramento Kings makes a lot of sense for Horford. In fact, there were numerous rumors circulating that the Kings were preparing to offer the veteran big man a large contract before the Sixers signed him.
Horford would fit much better on the Kings as he can play his natural position at the center spot. Not to mention that he would be a perfect player for De’Aaron Fox; as Horford can shoot (I already hear your comments disagreeing with that) and space the floor for Fox’s slashing to the rim. A lot of things can be said about Horford and what is about to be the twilight of his career, but he would be a great veteran presence in an organization that lacks some stability.
A situation can definitely brew in the coming months involving Horford and Hield in discussions, but it won’t be anything close to a one-for-one swap between the two players. That being said I think a realistic asking price in a said situation could be something along the lines of Horford, a good young player (Josh Richardson, Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton, etc), and a protected first round pick.
That might sound like a lot to give up, and, well it is. There’s no sugar coating it but the Sixers will need to attach picks or some form of value in a deal to get Horford off of their team. He hasn’t exactly built up his value as a player during his tenure in Philadelphia.
Some silver lining may be the fact that a deal involving Horford will be made at some point in which the Sixers will likely need to give up assets to move forward. Doing a deal for Hield kills two birds with one stone; not only do the Sixers move on from Horford but they gain a player that fits Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid flawlessly. A player of Hield’s talent doesn't come around often, let alone one that fits so well with the franchise cornerstones.
We’ve all heard the “you get what you pay for” line in life and in this situation the Sixers give up a lot to get a lot in Buddy Hield. You get a lot with him including elite three-point shooting (hovering around 40% on almost 10 attempts-per-game!), durability, and a great contract.
Ben Simmons had the most assists on three-pointers made this year. Now imagine pairing him with the guy who had the second most made threes this year (244) in Buddy Hield. Can’t imagine how well they would thrive together. pic.twitter.com/uehhSaLGOW— Kevin McCormick (@KevinMcCSports) April 12, 2020
Buddy Hield’s contract extension isn’t talked about enough either, so I should bring it up in detail if there’s somehow any reason you’re not convinced of acquiring him. Hield is only going to make around ~$24.5 million in his next NBA season and if you look closely at his contract it declines over each season. He will make an average of $2 million less every year for the remainder of his contract, finishing it off in the 2023-24 season at ~$20.6 million.
The modern NBA is an expensive league. Tobias Harris is earning over $30 million a year over five years. Getting Buddy Hield on your team for as much as $10 million less per year is pretty incredible.
I feel the need to say again that Buddy Hield can shoot! He can really shoot. Something that is rare in modern Philadelphia Basketball. The floor spacing he would bring to this team would be a breath of fresh air for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Not to mention that Tobias Harris would go back to his more natural position as a power forward (which would bring even more floor spacing).
It’s very possible that the Kings and Buddy Hield never reach an agreement in terms of a role; as they’ve cleared cap space to try and re-sign Bogdan Bogdanovic who is currently starting over Hield. If that’s the case a formal trade request might turn from a Philadelphia fan’s fantasy to an actual reality. Elton Brand and company should not hesitate if this is the case.