The Philadelphia 76ers are thinking big, which is why Buddy Hield from the Sacramento Kings is on their radar in the latest batch of NBA trade rumors. The slumping Sixers had a rough road trip out West, and they now must fend off the surging Brooklyn Nets, who won five games in a row.
The Sixers have the top record in the Eastern Conference at 20-11, but they’re looking to upgrade their shooting guard position after a recent skid. The Sixers started the season 16-6, but are 4-7 in their last 11 games.
The Nets are 20-12 and only a half-game behind the Sixers in the standings as they jockey for the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Philly head coach Doc Rivers knows that they’ll need extra firepower to stay competitive with the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets. The Bucks have Greek Freak and added Jrue Holiday in the offseason as a veteran guard who can bring intensity on both ends of the court. The Nets now have a Big 3 with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden.
In addition to the Sixers, Heild is also drawing trade interest from the Boston Celtics.
Philly Trade Rumors
Out of all the teams Harden wanted to play for this season, the Sixers were near the top of his list. In the end, the Houston Rockets traded the disgruntled Harden to the Nets in a four-team trade. After a bumpy adjustment period, the Nets look good. And that’s with Kevin Durant missing a few games with a hamstring injury.
The Sixers need a consistent scoring option who can help Joel Embiid in the postseason. Ben Simmons is playing better, but he fades in the postseason. Embiid can’t score 50 points every night. Seth Curry exceeded expectations this season as the starter averaging 12.9 ppg, but a few folks in the Sixers’ organization think they need a true scorer and playmaker. Shake Milton averages 13.8 ppg off the bench as Philly’s Sixth Man.
But is Hield the right guy for the job?
Hield Times in Sacramento
If Hield is so good, why would the Kings trade him? For one, the Kings are one of the numerous “cheap” organizations that don’t like to spend overspend on players. As a result, teams like the Kings serve as a minor league system for developing young players for bigger market teams.
Rookie Tyrese Haliburton (12.8 ppg) looks like the steal of the draft. The Kings selected Haliburton with the #12 pick out of Iowa State. He’s only started two games this season, but he’s provided the Kings with a boost off the bench and highly efficient 3-point shooting. Plus, Haliburton is a much better defender, which is important considering the Kings have the worst defense in the league.
The Kings utilize De’Aaron Fox (22.3 ppg) as their primary weapon on offense, with Hield now the second option (15.9 ppg). But there’s still only one ball and numerous players on the Kings who can score, including Harrison Barnes (15.8 ppg) and Marvin Bagley III (13.4 ppg).
Word on the street in Sacramento is that Hield isn’t happy with head coach Luke Walton playing him as the second fiddle. Two seasons ago, Hield averaged a career-high 20.7 ppg. Last season, he averaged 19.2 ppg. This season, he’s barely scoring 16 points per game. He’s only tweaking two fewer shots per game (14.2) compared to the last two seasons (16.3), but he’s shooting a career-low 37.3%. He’s also struggling from 3-point land with a career-low 36.1%, despite shooting nearly two more treys each night (10.3) compared to two seasons ago (7.9).
If the 76ers grab Hield from the Kings, he’ll be a defensive liability, but that’s the tradeoff they’ll need to make if they’re that desperate to boost their offense.