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Three ideal trade destinations for Buddy Hield

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The Sacramento Kings and Buddy Hield have hit a wall. Their relationship is a mess, with Hield not replying to text messages and very unhappy at being demoted to a sixth man role.

Hield signed a four-year, $96 million extension last offseason. It’s a declining salary, starting with over $24 million in 2020/21 and dropping to $18.5 million in 2022/23. With communication breaking down and Hield clearly displeased, it’s possible the former sixth overall pick doesn’t even start that contract with the Kings.

Trade rumours have swirled around Hield over the last few months. He and Luke Walton clearly have a poor relationship. The future of Bogdan Bogdanovic, a restricted free agent, will have a major say in Hield’s future. If the Kings retain him, a trade seems inevitable. If they refuse to pay Bogdanovic (which could end up being a sizeable commitment), Hield may happily return to his starting role.

Here are three teams that could make sense as trade destinations for Hield.

Sacramento take Horford

The Sixers are going to be active this offseason. The appointment of Daryl Morey means they will be aggressive as they look to shake up a roster which proved to be ill-fitting last season.


Morey’s first task will be to move Al Horford‘s contract. Finding a trade for Horford isn’t easy with two more guaranteed years left on his deal, and partially guaranteed 2022-23.

The wantaway Hield and Horford make for an obvious trade rumour. A straight up trade works with their salaries, and they’re two players expected to be dealt this offseason. Hield brings the Sixers much-needed shooting, Horford can be a veteran leader for the promising Kings.

Could Horford share the frontcourt with Marvin Bagley? How often will the Kings want to use Bagley as their lone big man? 

Horford still has value to a team like the Kings. He’s still a plus-defender, and he can space the floor for De’Aaron Fox. Maybe the Sixers have to send a couple of second-rounders or a protected first to get off his contract and bring in Hield, but Morey should have no qualms paying such a price. This is by far the best fit for Hield, a player who could flourish alongside Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

Joins Towns and Russell

The Minnesota Timberwolves have wanted to trade up and acquire a second lottery pick. If that’s not possible, they could swing big in the shape of a Buddy Hield trade. James Johnson‘s expiring contract (once he picks up that option) is enough to make the salaries work – the T-Wolves can absorb Hield’s contract into their remaining cap space.


The Kings might want Jarrett Culver in a deal, but the Timberwolves are unlikely to relinquish him unless they’re receiving further draft capital. Johnson and Culver for Hield and pick 12 in the upcoming draft might interest the Kings.

Does the 12th pick have enough value for the Kings to give up Culver? If Minnesota doesn’t want to let him go, could the Kings be tempted by Josh Okogie?

Sacramento aren’t going to get a haul for Hield. Minnesota have a couple of young players who could swing the deal in their favour if they want to add further shooting around D’Angelo Russell and Karl-Anthony Towns. The offensive fit is great, but an already concerning defence becomes a greater concern with Hield.

Help for Trae

Trae Young is already bored of losing. The Atlanta Hawks are going to look to take a step forward this offseason. Atlanta has cap space, $26.8 million of it, to either swing big for a free agent or absorb a contract like Hield’s.

Already equipped with wings in De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish, there’s not a desperate need for Hield, but as the Hawks look to push toward a playoff spot, adding a proven veteran like Hield could be appealing. Maybe there’s a pick swap – the Kings take Atlanta’s pick and move up to six, and Atlanta draft at 12.

Sacramento might ask for one of those young wings. Huerter could be a useful piece off the bench – it’s hard to see the Hawks giving up Hunter or Reddish yet.

The way Hield’s contract decreases over the coming seasons might fit nicely with Atlanta’s timeline. His shooting would be a welcome addition, but he’s not the stellar defender the Hawks must crave next to Young.

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