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Rumor: Kings’ Buddy Hield might request a trade if he remains displeased with role

Buddy Hield, Kings

Sacramento Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield’s move to the bench was one that head coach Luke Walton deemed as “not set in stone” as he opted to favor the more diverse Bogdan Bogdanovic to start and set more of a defensive tone while limiting Hield’s trigger-happy style of play. Yet Hield isn’t entirely happy with the move and could request a trade if Walton keeps utilizing him as a sixth man.

Via Shams Charania, Sam Amick, and Jason Jones of The Athletic:

Hield’s situation remains one Divac has to monitor. If Hield remains displeased with his role, a source with knowledge of his thinking said he might request a trade. He believes he is a starter in the NBA and there’s no guarantee he’ll get that job back, given how the team has played lately. And unlike last season, when he never criticized Joerger publicly and even refrained from doing so after their well-chronicled January 2019 run-in at Golden State, Hield has shown a willingness to criticize Walton that has proved at times problematic.”

This isn’t a relatively new behavior. Hield was critical of former Kings coach Dave Joerger, who gave him the green light to take as many shots as he wanted when he was hot, but soon discovered he had to pull back on it once the bricks started coming.

So far, Walton’s strategy has worked — Hield has shot 50% or better in seven of his nine games since first moving to the bench. He enjoyed a 42-point game in an overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves and also a 31-point barrage in a 20-point win over the San Antonio Spurs in which he connected on nine of his 10 3-pointers.

Yet the prestige of being a starter is something Hield is greatly concerned with, even after landing a four-year extension that could pay him as much as $106 million if he hits all his bonuses.