Kings' moves indicate uncertainty over buddy's role going forward

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Buddy Hield

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

THE Sacramento Kings front office continues to make transactions that indicate uncertainty about Buddy Hield's role with the organisation moving forward.

The Kings signed restricted free agent guard Zach LaVine to a four-year $78 million offer sheet, however, the Chicago Bulls matched the offer within the 48-hour restricted time period to keep Lavine on the Bulls roster.

Had the Bulls not matched the offer sheet, the richest guaranteed non-max deal of the summer thus far, LaVine would have given the Kings a fourth shooting guard along with Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Garrett Temple.

The moves came off an offseason of speculation and Hield addressed the rumours last month when he hosted "Bucket Night with Buddy Hield" at Southmoore High School in Oklahoma.

"People start stuff. Sometimes it starts from a fan, and then it keeps getting egged on," Hield said to CNHI Sports Oklahoma. "If I get traded, I'll go to that city, wherever, and I'll be blessed to still be in the NBA. As long as I have a job, I'm fine with that. But I don't worry about trade talks. Once I get a call, and they say I'm traded, then I'll worry about it."

At the time, Hield was responding to reports that the Kings were considering drafting Slovakian guard Luka Doncic with the second overall pick.

Hield finished last season as the Kings second leading scorer averaging 13.5 points (.446 field goal percentage, .431 three-point percentage and 88 three throw percentage), 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.06 steals in 25.3 minutes per game. He started just 13 of his 80 appearances in his second season.

Hield was relegated to the bench after Bogdanovic took over the role as the team's starting shooting guard for the remainder of the season.

Hield participated in the Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars Challenge, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge and he was also one of several players who hosted various NBA Cares Clinics during the NBA All-Star weekend.

He helped the World Team to a 155-124 win over Team USA at the marquee event for the league's second and first year players.

Hield's numbers were in MVP contention with 29 points, five made threes, three rebounds and three assists.

However, Bogdanovic would go on to win the award.

Vlade Divac, Kings general manager, announced that the team exercised its 2018-19 option on the second year shooting guard. Hield was the No.6 pick of the 2016 Draft and projected salary for the 2018-19 season is at just over $3.8 million. Hield played 57 games with the New Orleans Pelicans before he was traded to the Sacramento Kings in February 2017. In 25 games for the Kings to conclude the 2016-17 season, Hield made 18 starts and averaged 15.1 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and 42 per cent shooting from three-point range. On the season he averaged 10.6 points, 3.3 rebounds on 42 per cent shooting from the field and 39 per cent from three-point range. He finished 4th in 3-point and free throw percentage, 8th in field goal percentage and 11th in rebounding among all rookies.

Hield was named to the 2016-17 NBA All-Rookie First Team.

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