The NBA offseason has come and nearly gone and not only is Buddy Hield not on the Sixers, but he is still in Sacramento.
It’s odd, to say the least, considering how hard Hield has pushed to leave SAC-Town. Hield has hinted at the possibility of leaving the Kings for almost a year now. And recently, he has only added more fuel to the fire as time has gone on.
While the Kings seem finally ready to move on, are the Sixers still a potential landing spot for the disgruntled guard?
Few teams were connected to Hield as much as Philadelphia but that was before Daryl Morey transformed the team.
Clearly aware of the Sixers’ need for shooting, Morey sprung into action adding a plethora of shooters. Grizzled veterans like Danny Green and Seth Curry lead a group that includes: Isaiah Joe, Ryan Broekhoff, Derrick Walton Jr., and Dakota Mathias.
After all of that and moving most of the team’s tradable contracts would the Sixers even be interested in Hield?
Are The 76ers’ Even Looking To Make A Move?
The immediate reaction from Doc Rivers didn’t show mutual interest. Rivers was quoted as saying:
“You’re not hearing them from us… As long as you don’t hear them from us, you should feel very comfortable. We like our team, man, I tell you, that team I just watched out there is special. Those rumors, none are coming from us.” (per Ky Carlin)
This comment was about James Harden obviously but it could easily apply to other additions. When Rivers talked about how much they like their team, it’s tough to not believe him.
All that’s been said so far from the Sixers camp is that everyone looks great and this upcoming season will be special. Are they blowing smoke? Perhaps. Even if they are though they may sincerely believe it.
In their mind, why would they sell half the talent on the team for a single player? Yes, that player is James Harden but the amount sacrificed would be great if it were even possible to trade without including Ben or Joel.
What About Buddy Hield?
Now, what does this have to do with Buddy Hield?
While there are many clear differences between Harden and Hield, one of which is the cost of acquiring them, the concept remains.
If the team is so confident in their players and they’re noticeably light on depth, would packaging what depth they have for Hield make sense?
Probably not honestly. The team added Seth Curry who is a similar player to Hield on a cheap deal.
If they already have their Buddy Hield why sacrifice what little depth they have to chase him again?
Would Hield make the starting lineup better? Certainly, but would that marginal increase offset the loss to the bench? Probably not.
If the Sixers were to land Hield the Kings would likely demand a first-round pick in addition to a young player. That player also wouldn’t be one like Isaiah Joe who likely won’t see many minutes either. They’ll ask for Maxey or Milton and the Sixers will have no part in it.
Those issues pale compared to the financial trouble of trading for Hield. To reach the number needed to facilitate the deal the Sixers would have to use their full $8.1 mil trade exception.
Additionally, they would have to add either Danny Green (which won’t happen, at least not for Hield) or combine the contracts of Mike Scott, Terance Ferguson, Tony Bradley, and more along with the first-round pick.
The Sixers have also made it clear that while they’re willing to spend they’re looking for some form of financial flexibility.
If the Sixers were to add Hield they would have over $110 mil committed to four players for at least the next three seasons. Not exactly the flexibility I mentioned earlier.
Adding Hield works in theory but financially it would have nightmare potential.
When the Sixers were still burdened with Al Horford’s contract it would have made sense but Daryl Morey has already addressed that in fantastic fashion. Would he immediately recommit years of salary for a slight positional upgrade?
To call it highly doubtful is optimistic. The team is much more likely to use their trade exception (without having to give up much) to add a player such as Hield’s teammate Nemanja Bjelica.
The Seth Curry Conundrum
The complications just to make a move for Buddy Hield seem nonsensical at this point. Is it a shame? Maybe, but the Sixers have a team-friendly (financially and socially) version in Seth Curry.
The “Seth Curry Conundrum” is a very good problem for the Sixers to have. He is a comparable player who plays a similar style at a third of the cost.
Joel Embiid has been vocal about his desire for Curry to fill the JJ Redick sized hole on the team. Clearly, the belief is there that Curry can fill Redick’s shoes, and rightfully so. Curry is up there in the conversation for “best shooter”, a conversation once dominated by Kyle Korver and of course, JJ Redick.
Back to the Hield comparison though many already believe it’s a closer race as seen by ESPN’s recent top 100 rankings.
Hield finished only four spots above Curry and while Hield should have more opportunity with Bogdan Bogdanovich out of town, Curry will likely see more of an offensive opportunity thanks to Joel Embiid.
While Curry is coming off playing with one of the NBA’s top distributors in Luka Doncic, he’ll be moving to Ben Simmons and he will be adding a deadly screen game with Embiid.
Are The Philadelphia 76ers Out On A Buddy Hield Trade?
All this to say once again that Daryl Morey effectively added a cheaper, locker room-friendly Buddy Hield.
As much as many clamored for Hield, myself included, Curry is actually the best-case scenario. While the idea of both is interesting it’s thoroughly unrealistic.
The Philadelphia 76ers are likely out on a trade for Buddy Hield and that’s okay as they’ve already found their Hield in Seth Curry.
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire