The Orlando Magic need better shooters if they are to progress and Buddy Hield fits the description perfectly.
Since entering the NBA, he has established himself as one of the league’s best 3-point shooters, knocking down 3.8 per game last season at a rate of 39.4-percent.
At 27, he should be at or approaching his peak meaning he could yet reach a higher level having averaged 19.2 points per game last season. He has recently signed a four-year extension and so would be wrapped up with whoever acquires him for some time.
Acquiring Hield would be a commitment that the Magic believe he can be a long-term starting shooting guard to this roster. At a $24.4-million salary for the 2021 season, declining to $18.6 million in 2024, Buddy Hield would become a player on the same level as Nikola Vucevic and expected to perform to the same level.
This is precisely why the Sacramento Kings are likely somewhat in a bind when it comes to Hield.
The Kings boasted a strong backcourt last season with De’Aaron Fox, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Buddy Hield but yet again did not manage to make the playoffs, making it 14 years without a run in the postseason. By the end of the season, the Kings were unsure what to do with Hield, bringing him off the bench for the final 28 games, including every game inside the Disney campus.
If there is a reason Hield is on the market, it is because of this tension. He believes he is a starter and he is paid like a starter. Yet, the Kings have relegated him to a reserve role despite his raw production.
Hield is a very talented offensive player but something has to give if the Kings are to end their dismal run.
Bogdanovic’s expiring contract and therefore possible departure could make a potential trade for Hield more difficult but he is the type of player the Magic should be looking at. Sending a ready-made replacement in Evan Fournier and an exciting prospect in Mohamed Bamba, who could help address their rebounding and blocking weaknesses, could tempt the team into a trade.
Striking a deal for Hield would be difficult but not impossible. The Magic would have to give up a lot but would be getting one of the league’s very best shooters from deep.
And if they did this they would then have a good chunk of their lineup for the future locked in with a great shooter to anchor their perimeter attack.