Buddy Hield: Kings Have “Trust Issues”

Buddy Hield complained to reporters about “trust issues” in Sacramento after being benched for much of the fourth quarter in last night’s loss to the Timberwolves, writes Jason Jones of The Athletic.

New Kings head coach Luke Walton has been keeping Hield off the court late in close games ever since a defensive lapse cost the team a victory against San Antonio on December 6, Jones adds. Hield didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter Monday and saw just 4:06 of action in the final frame of Thursday’s double overtime loss.

“Seems like we’re all over the place,” Hield said. “… Trust issues going on, I guess. They stop believing in players. It is what it is.”

Hield’s comments capped an overall miserable night for the Kings, who fell to 12-19 with their fifth straight loss. Not only did they allow Minnesota to snap an 11-game slide, but De’Aaron Fox left the game after two minutes with back spasms and Marvin Bagley III exited in the third quarter with an injured left foot.

But the bigger issue might be Hield, who is lashing out at the organization two months after signing a four-year rookie-scale extension worth $86MM. Hield also clashed with former coach Dave Joerger after repeatedly abandoning set plays to get his own shot, and Jones notes that their uneasy relationship was part of the reason for Joerger’s dismissal.

That’s not going to happen with Walton, who has a four-year contract and the full support of management, Jones adds. He was given the freedom to remove Dewayne Dedmon from the rotation after the team signed the free agent center to a three-year, $40MM contract this summer, and he will be allowed to handle Hield as he sees fit.

Hield didn’t directly attack Walton last night and made it clear to reporters that he doesn’t feel like he’s being singled out by the coaching staff.

“I never said that,” Hield said. “I just feel like I’m one of the better players on the team, I should be in there in the fourth quarter, trying to help my team win, regardless. That’s why I’m here, right?”

Hield hit a key shot in the first overtime and played the entirety of the second one. However, he showed questionable judgment at the end as the Kings had the ball and a chance to win with 11.6 seconds remaining. Hield ran off nearly the entire clock before misfiring on a 3-pointer.

“I don’t coach the team, it is what it is,” he said. “I’m an emotional player. I express my feelings on the bench and they know how competitive I am and they hear me. I don’t say nothing quietly. They know I’m all about winning, I’m a team-first guy and nobody says I’m being selfish so that’s not the case, I’m not a selfish guy.

“I’m all about winning. When I’m not out there, it hurt my gut not to be out there. For the past two games when I feel I can make a difference. … I know they’re trying to prove a point, of course. But the point didn’t get proved; that’s a game we could have won.”

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18 thoughts on “Buddy Hield: Kings Have “Trust Issues”

    • SheaGoodbye

      The team was actually playing better without them. Granted, I do think a healthy Fox makes the team better. Bagley? Not so much at this point.

  1. Gary

    If someone is all about the team, they do it the team way and don’t spout when they’re not playing. He says he’s not the coach yet he says he should be in there at certain times of the game. Contradiction after contradiction. The anti Klay Thompson.

    • aamatho18

      Ok how is he supposed to react when he sees Bogdanovic going 8-28 and missing shot after shot. If he would have played that whole first overtime, the Kings would have won. As a Timberwolves fan, I’m glad they say him.

      • natsfan3437

        Considering that Bogdanovic has outplayed him the entire season having one bad game shouldn’t mean his minutes get taken away. And he is right, if your a team guy then be about the team.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Bogdanovic is just about flawless on defense too – very high IQ player that does a lot of things well. Not great in any area, but great overall.

        If Walton has any say, Bogdanovic will get paid and Hield will be available this summer.

      • SheaGoodbye

        Hield has complained a lot so far this season without backing up the whining with his own performance. In particular, his defense, shot selection and decision-making are all worse compared to last season.

        The numbers may not look too bad on the surface, but he’s not helping the team all that much right now. And as someone who just recently got paid a nice chunk of money, fans should expect better.

    • x%sure

      Given Hield’s irrationality, I think he intended to criticize playing Bojan’s PT at 2G. BB’s situation will be another tough call for the Sacto FO. Bojan may get poached.

  2. Buckman

    He’s unprofessional both on and off the court if the article gives the entire context. Do what is asked of you instead stamping your vision on the team because as he said he is not the coach.

  3. JD396

    “Yeah, I really screwed up and cost the team a close game a few weeks ago. That was on me. I want to be out there when the game is on the line so I’m working to rebuild the trust there so they know they can rely on me.” – Not Hield

  4. IslandFlava

    Luke Walton is killing Sacramento softly this year, can’t see them at all getting to the playoffs, discarding the players the team chose to pay, man this guy is even worse than he was for the Lakers, SMH!

    • bitterpadresfan

      They way over performed without Fox and Bagley for a good stretch of the year. It’s been a bad stretch trying to get everybody integrated again but it’s pretty early to hammer Walton. Still hasn’t had a full team for a game all year.

    • Gary

      So easy to complain about the coach. Who would you hire ? I want a name.

  5. Tazza

    Heild has complained a lot granted or not…
    think the decision about wasting his time with bad contract offers was dumb and he was their second best player last year after Fox. I see both reason as to why complain about fourth quarter minutes. I get it team player and all but if you think for a second LBJ, Durant, Curry or any top player would allow for that then think again. He wants to be the best player he can be and he knows he’s better than most his team mates so obviously he’s frustrated.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if he was traded… maybe Jaylen Brown for Buddy Heild and Dwayne Dedmon.

    Cs get a pure shooter in Heild and get a big which some shot blocking ability and floor spacing in Dedmon. Kings get back Brown who has been very up and down but a Fox Brown Bogdanovic and Bagley core does sound good

    • Gary

      Sounds good on paper and I might even do it before this year. But now that Hield has shown to be a “me first” guy I want nothing to do with him.

      I have a feeling he’ll be Sacramento’s problem for a while, unless they dump him for nothing.

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