Those pesky Buddy Hield-Sixers rumors just won’t seem to go away will they? With the entire world sitting at home for the moment, the Sacramento Kings shooting guard took to Instagram to express his current thought *process*…
While you may be quick to write this off ast Hield talking about weathering the current storm we’re all in, it’s important to note a few things regarding the comment.
- The initial comment was from a Philly-based user
- Hield knows what the “Process” is, he was almost drafted by the Sixers in 2016
- Trade rumors have circulated around Hield all season long
If this isn’t Hield talking about the Sixers then I don’t know what is.
Obviously, the 76ers front office would love to bring Hield into the fold this offseason. He’s one of the best young three-point shooters in the league, and he would pair up beautifully next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Currently averaging 19.8 points per game on 39.5% from beyond the arc, Hield would provide that instant offense the team has so desperately missed since JJ Redick left.
So let’s explore the realism surrounding a trade for the former Oklahoma Sooner.
The biggest obstacle surrounding a Hield trade, for any team this offseason, is no doubt his current salary. Inked to a 4-year/$94 million dollar extension this past October, finding a way to fit that money onto the books is a major struggle.
Luckily for the Sixers, they have the perfect player to offset all that cash. Reported in late February, the Sixers are already making it known that they don’t want Al Horford on the roster post-2020. With the veteran big man carrying a $27 million dollar cap hit going forward, a swap of Horford and Hield would check out financially.
Funny enough, the Kings were the other team during last year’s free agency who were heavily interested in Horford. While their opinion of the ex-Celtic has no doubt worsened after his lackluster performance in 2019/20, they may very well still be interested in bringing him to Sacramento.
Pairing up an established center with De’Aaron Fox still makes plenty of sense on paper.
While the prospect of a Horford-for-Hield swap sounds all fine and good as it is, it’s likely that Hield will command quite a decent market if he is made available this summer. At just 27 years old, Hield has been one of the best wing scorers in the league over the last two seasons. He shoots the three at a high rate, and makes the three at a high rate.
A plethora of general managers will likely come calling to the Kings about Hield and his services. This will raise his price tag drastically, and Sacramento will demand quite a bit from Philly.
While centering a trade package around Horford still makes sense, it’s likely the Sixers will have to seriously sweeten up the deal. We’ll get to that later.
Do The Sixers Even Have Interest?
Simply put? Yes, the Sixers have interest.
Prior to taking Ben Simmons with the #1 overall pick in 2016, the Philadelphia front office did extensive research on Buddy Hield leading up to the NBA draft. Coming off a dominant senior year with Oklahoma, Philly was impressed.
Despite ultimately settling on Simmons (obviously the right choice), the Sixers went as far as interviewing Hield just weeks before the draft. Considering Buddy has really exploded as a talent over the last two seasons in the NBA, I doubt the 76ers’ opinion of him has really soured at all.
Final Trade Package
Sacramento Kings Receive:
– Al Horford
– Zhaire Smith
– 2020 First Round Pick (via OKC)
Philadelphia 76ers Receive:
– Buddy Hield
– Cory Joseph
Using Horford and Oklahoma City’s first round pick as the centerpieces to the deal, the Kings would also receive Philly’s top G-League prospect in Zhaire Smith. The Sixers would take on Cory Joseph as further salary relief.
When it’s all said and done, the 76ers shouldn’t be bashful in trying to pull off a move like this. Getting out of Horford’s contract is almost more important than acquiring a player back, so if the King’s want further assets in return, the Sixers should pull the trigger.
Including Shake Milton/Josh Richardson over Zhaire, or throwing in a few extra picks shouldn’t be off the table during the negotiations.
With the NBA season still on a hiatus, obviously nothing can happen yet. However, keep your eye out as the Hield rumors begin to pick up later in the year…
Mandatory Credit – © Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports