In February 2017, the New Orleans Pelicans shocked the NBA world by acquiring the Sacramento Kings all-star center, DeMarcus Cousins. Along with Buddy Hield, the Pelicans also acquired Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans. Both of those other players are no longer on the team. However, Hield who seemed to be a bust in his 57 games played with the Pelicans, has found new life with the Kings.
Buddy Hield Finding New Levels Of Success With Sacramento Kings
There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being a top ten pick in the NBA. Hield had built quite the resume while in college. In his last season playing for Oklahoma, he averaged 25 points per game. He shot 50 percent from the field and 46 percent from the perimeter. These stats earned Hield many accolades in college, specifically winning the Big 12 player of the Year award. All this built up to him getting drafted sixth overall in the 2016 NBA draft.
In his Rookie year, Hield had his share of struggles and success. In his first 57 games with the Pelicans, he averaged 8.7 points per game. He also struggled shooting the ball, averaging 37 percent from three-point range and 39 percent from the field.
After he was traded to Sacramento, Hield’s numbers started improving immediately. Hield averaged 15.1 points in the 25 games he played with Sacramento. His shooting also went up as he averaged 43 percent from three-point range and 48 percent from the field.
Turning the Corner
In his 117 games since his rookie season, Hield is averaging 16.7 points. This year particularly he’s taken a step forward, averaging 19.9 points per game. The Kings are 19-18 this year and Hield is a big reason for their surprising start to the year. He scored a career-high in points this year at 37.
Hield has become a key scorer and veteran for the Kings. He’s scored 20-plus points in 21 of his 37 games played this season. He has also taken his perimeter shooting to a new level. Hield averaged 9.3 three-point shot attempts in the month of December and scored more than half of those. The change of situations from a win-now environment in New Orleans to a rebuild in Sacramento really seemed to positively help Hields development.
Hield is under contract for one more year. If he continues to keep playing at this high of a level, he’s in for a large payday. Sacramento’s recent draft picks like De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III have been getting a lot of attention. Make no mistake, Hield is a big piece to the dynasty this franchise is trying to build.