By the end of the 2019/20 season, it appeared that Buddy Hield‘s days in Sacramento might be numbered. He had bristled at being removed from the starting lineup last winter and the Kings appeared committed to investing in Bogdan Bogdanovic, the man who had replaced Hield as the club’s starting shooting guard.
However, Sacramento let Bogdanovic walk in free agency and Hield remains on the roster. Addressing the situation in a conference call with reporters this week, general manager Monte McNair expressed a belief that Hield can still be – and is – a part of the Kings’ long-term plans.
“I’ve talked with Buddy, as well as his agent, I think we’re all on the same page,” McNair said, per James Ham of NBC Sports California. “I think we’re really excited to see Buddy kind of let free in this system. I think he’s going to be fantastic.”
The Kings are aiming to increase their tempo on offense this season. As Ham notes, that would seem to be a good fit for Hield’s outside shooting ability.
“‘Buddy is such an incredible talent, especially his shooting is at an elite level,” McNair said. “(That) is something we saw this offseason was at a premium. I think we’re really excited to see him in this system.”
Here’s more on the Kings:
- Asked during his media availability this week about the Kings’ decision not to match Bogdanovic’s offer sheet, McNair provided many of the same reasons that were reported at the time of the move. As Ham writes for NBC Sports California, the Kings’ GM said the team wants to “maintain as much (salary cap) flexibility as we can” and cited the presence of Hield and Tyrese Haliburton as the backcourt as factors in the decision to let Bogdanovic go.
- Using McNair’s comments as a jumping-off point, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee explores how not having Bogdanovic’s contract on their books will affect the Kings’ projected cap room in 2021 and beyond.
- The Kings used part of their mid-level exception to sign free agent forward Chimezie Metu to a three-year, minimum-salary contract, according to Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Metu only has a $50K partial guarantee for now, though that would increase to $250K if he makes the opening night roster, Smith adds.