Sacramento Kings

Buddy Hield has soured on Luke Walton, time with Kings may near its end

Buddy Hield has already given up on Luke Walton.

Former Los Angeles Lakers’ head coach Luke Walton’s first season in charge of the Sacramento Kings did not go as planned. While the team made it to the Orlando bubble, they missed the postseason again, all while dealing with injuries to stars Marvin Bagley III and De’Aaron Fox. Sharpshooting guard Buddy Hield wasn’t hurt, but he and Walton never seemed to jell, and Hield apparently wants out of Sacramento.

Jason Jones of The Athletic is reporting that Hield has “soured” on Walton, going so far as to not return the coach’s phone calls. With this animosity, new general manager Monte McNair, who succeeded Vlade Divac, might have no choice but to trade him.

Buddy Hield remains one of the best shooters in the league

Hield was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2016, but he was traded to Sacramento in the DeMarcus Cousins deal. Hield has averaged 17.5 points per game with the Kings, and he is hitting 42 percent of his 3-point shots. The Bahamian star started to lose faith in Walton when he was demoted to the second unit amid the team’s struggles, and it seems like he isn’t interested in patching things up.

While Hield made just $4.8 million this year thanks to his rookie deal, 2020-21 is the start of a four-year, $94 million extension he signed with Sacramento. Whoever trades for him — if he indeed becomes available — will have him under their control for the next four seasons.

Hield is seemingly starting to scout locations for 2020-21 that do not include Sacramento. Hield liked two tweets on Twitter after Doc Rivers was named head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers and former Kings head coach Dave Joerger was given an interview for the Indiana Pacers’ vacancy.

Hield could change the dynamic of any offense that needs another deadly 3-point shooter. With four years of team control on a relatively discounted price given his production, Hield could make several playoff contenders very happy.

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