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3 ideal midseason trade destinations for Buddy Hield

Kings, Buddy Hield, Buddy Hield trade

Somehow, someway Buddy Hield is still a member of the Sacramento Kings. This bewilderment derives from the ongoing trade rumors concerning the University of Oklahoma product, Kings’ head coach Luke Walton moving him to the bench and the team’s continued playoff shortcomings.

Lo and behold, we have another Buddy Hield trade rumor courtesy of HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, who was reportedly told that Hield is “going to be gone.” The 28-year-old is one of the more high-volume shooters in the NBA, and he is a proven scorer.

He entered Wednesday averaging 15.7 points and 5.7 rebounds, all while shooting 37.5 percent from beyond the arc on 10.7 attempts per game. Hield coming off the bench is partially impacted by the team’s backcourt logjam that includes De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Davion Mitchell.

In all likelihood, a Hield trade wouldn’t take place until the weeks and/or days leading up to the NBA trade deadline. He’s in the second season of a four-year, $94 million pact. In the prime of his career and a considerably productive scorer, Hield should generate a reasonable amount of trade suitors.

With that said, here are three ideal midseason trade destinations for Buddy Hield.

Buddy Hield trade destinations

3. Indiana Pacers

Trade proposal

Pacers receive: Buddy Hield

Kings receive: T.J. Warren, Jeremy Lamb and Pacers’ 2023 first-round draft pick

The Pacers are in Year 1 of the Rick Carlisle era 2.0. They have an extremely talented roster headlined by Malcolm Brogdon, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. At the same time, this is a team that has been muttered in mediocrity of late and should be on the lookout for a significant trade should the opportunity arise.

If the Pacers are playing .500 basketball around the trade deadline, they should entertain a move for Hield.

Warren and Lamb are each proven commodities but also free agents after this season and have precarious standings with the franchise. The former appeared in just four games last season due to a foot injury and supposedly had issues with previous head coach Nate Bjorkgren, while the Pacers supposedly want to trade the latter.

Hield would give the Pacers a deadeye shooter who can put the ball on the floor and score. A one-two wing punch of LeVert and Hield with Brogdon moving around the halfcourt would be a cunning bedrock for the Indiana offense. Furthermore, Hield would give them another legitimate wing scorer.

From the Kings’ point of view, they see how Warren and Lamb fit their scheme prior to them hitting the open market, as well as a future first-rounder for their troubles.

What could halt this move is the Pacers preferring to not be on the hook for another $20-plus million salary in a player who would likely be a secondary scoring option. They may also view rookie Chris Duarte as a future Buddy Hield.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder

Trade proposal

Thunder receive: Buddy Hield

Kings receive: Luguentz Dort, Isaiah Roby, Los Angeles Clippers’ 2022 first-round draft pick and Oklahoma City’s 2022 second-round draft pick

The Thunder can make any trade they want, as two-thirds of their roster is made up of compelling youngsters and they could have as many as 17 first-round selections over the next six years. Hield would be a savvy way for them to distribute those resources via trade.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a franchise player, and Josh Giddey has the potential to be a premier passing and rebounding guard. The Thunder need more perimeter scoring, which is where Hield comes into play. In a way, he can recreate himself with the Thunder, having the ball in his hands a bit more while still serving as a threat out on the perimeter.

Hield is entering the prime of his NBA career, which helps the Thunder bypass the growth of some of their players on rookie deals.

Dort is a reliable player with upside, but Hield is essentially a full-blown offensive version of Dort, which is what the Thunder are going to need more of at some point in their rebuild–that being established forces. Oklahoma City’s frontcourt depth, which includes Darius Bazley and Aleksej Pokusevski, makes it easy for them to move on from Roby and one of their three first-rounders in 2022.

General manager Sam Presti can make this deal in the winter and still pull off a blockbuster or two in the offseason. Their draft status doesn’t mean too much given the necessity for them to cash in their picks for tangible value. From the Kings’ perspective, they get a pair of enticing players in Dort and Roby, who could start from Day 1, and another first-rounder to add depth.

What stops a deal from taking place? The Thunder wanting to save all their trade ammunition for a mammoth superstar trade.

1. Washington Wizards

Trade proposal

Wizards receive: Buddy Hield

Kings receive: Davis Bertans, Deni Avdija and Wizards’ 2025 first-round draft pick

For the moment, it seems Bradley Beal isn’t going anywhere, a notion furthered by the Wizards’ bevy of talent grabs in the offseason, most notably Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyle Kuzma. That being said, the Wiz are one of many teams in the Eastern Conference that are trying to break through.

If the 2021-22 NBA season brings more of the same underwhelming, barely sneaking into the playoffs results for the Wizards, they should look to acquire Hield.

Beal is an elite scorer, and Dinwiddie is a proven scorer himself. The rest of the roster, while capable forces, is volatile. Hield gives first-time head coach Wes Unseld Jr. another legitimate scoring option, as well as someone to benefit from the attention that Beal and Dinwiddie attract.

The roadmap to the Wizards being a contender in the East is their roster being an offensive juggernaut. Hield helps their offense reach that status. Washington could also view this trade as a way to reassure Beal that they’re trying to immediately contend.

This trade balances out the Wizards’ roster, as the likes of Kuzma, Rui Hachimura, Daniel Gafford, Montrezl Harell and Corey Kispert would still be present in their frontcourt rotation. Meanwhile, Sacramento gets a former lottery selection in Avdija, a capable ball-handler and scorer, and an outside sniper in Bertans.

Avdija and Bertans would complement the Kings’ core and improve their chances of reaching the NBA play-in tournament this season. Plus, the Kings get a future first-rounder. This is a win-win player swap from the jump.