It’s been a week now since Buddy Hield signed his contract extension with the Sacramento Kings, a smart move by a franchise predicated on speed and shooting.
The Sacramento Kings finalized a contract extension with Buddy Hield worth a reported $86 million over four years. There are also bonuses attached to the deal which can take the total value of the deal to north of $100 million.
It’s a sign of trust and commitment from the franchise, showing they feel Buddy is part of the team’s future. He has shown nothing to the contrary lately, a fast-paced shooter with range for days. He could have commanded more in free agency at the end of the year, meaning this could end up being a steal for the Kings.
Last season Buddy averaged 20.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 82 games, shooting 42.9 percent from deep. That 3-point percentage was good enough to rank him in the 94th percentile of guards, while he also ranked in the 93rd percentile for free-throw shooting with 88.6 percent per Cleaning the Glass.
To start this year, Buddy has dropped 17.3 points per game on similar percentages. He is a true shooter blessed with lightning pace and good size.
In the above play, Buddy starts with the ball outside of the three-point line on the left side of the court. He passes to Fox who feeds the ball into the post, whilst this is happening Buddy cuts into the paint then curls hard, back out to the 3-point line. It is his burst of pace that provides him the separation from his defender, enabling him to get an open shot which he nails.
The above play provides an insight into how his pace can open up good looks from deep. He receives the ball at the strong-side elbow 3 and takes a couple of steps towards the basket at pace — sending his defender reeling. A well-executed step-back provides him with all the space he needs to get off a clean looking shot from the corner.
It’s clear Buddy provides an offensive skill set few players in the league possess, his high-velocity style of play coupled with his sharpshooting is a recipe for driving opponents insane. Take a look at the below play;
Getting the defensive rebound then pushing the tempo in transition causing the entire defense to hustle to get in front of him. The bigs are dropping into the paint to ensure that any drive he decides to make is challenged, but the guards are still getting set in their positions. An easy 3 points in transition for Sacramento.
These are just three plays from the beginning of the season, but they do provide an insight into what Buddy brings to the table. His career stats should speak volumes about what type of player he is.
His shooting form is smooth, his footwork is impeccable and he is the perfect foil alongside De’Aaron Fox.
One of the best 3-point shooters in the league, Buddy strikes fear into his opponent’s hearts on the break. Besides him will be the NBA’s embodiment of Sonic, blowing by defenders at breakneck speed causing defenses to make an impossible decision – defend the three or stop the drive.
A core of Buddy, Fox and Marvin Bagley provides the team with a genuine foundation to build upon moving forward. By locking down a player of Buddy’s caliber now, it signals an intent to keep that core together and build for the future.
Given the contract Buddy signed is top-loaded and will decrease year-on-year, the deal seems a no-brainer. It provides them with a top tier shooter while signaling their intent to both Fox and Bagley. Now it’s on them to prove the Kings are right to place their trust in that core.