Coming into the offseason, the question wasn’t whether the Kings would shop Buddy Hield, but whether there would be a market for the 28-year-old shooter.
This question appears to have been answered.
Hield has become one of the most talked about names in the ever churning NBA rumor mill and it looks like the Kings not only can move off of him, but find value in return.
The initial rumor was Hield for Kyle Kuzma and maybe Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, which should have moved the needle in Sacramento. But over the last few days, the potential transaction has morphed to include Montrezl Harrell and now maybe even more.
“With fewer than 24 hours until the 2021 draft, multiple league sources say Los Angeles has stepped up their efforts by adding the No. 22 pick to a deal that’d include Montrezl Harrell, and Kyle Kuzma or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope,” writes The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.
Harrell is the big question mark in the deal. The 27-year-old has a player option for next season that has to be exercised before he can be traded. His $9.7 million contract is more appealing than the two-years, $27 million owed to Caldwell-Pope, even if the final year of his deal is only guaranteed at $4.9 million.
If Caldwell-Pope is included, the Kings' chances of retaining center Richaun Holmes would take a hit. But Sacramento should take a long look at a salary neutral trade that adds Kuzma, Harrell and the No. 22 overall pick.
The transaction can’t be completed until after Aug. 2 due to Kuzma’s poison pill in his contract and the No. 22 overall pick can’t be traded before the draft due to the Stepien Rule, but this is a potential franchise alternating transaction for the Kings.
Kuzma would fit into the starting lineup at the four and Harrell could fill the role of bench scorer that the Kings desperately need.
Adding these two, as well as a second young player in a very deep draft, would also make it easier for the Kings to move on from Marvin Bagley, which they will likely have to do if they have any hopes of retaining starting center Richaun Holmes.
According to O'Connor, there are other potential trade options for the Kings when it comes to Hield.
"The Lakers might get him for Kuzma, Harrell, and a pick," O'Connor writes. "It’s a competitive offer, but not unbeatable."
If this is accurate and the floor for Hield is two rotational players and a first round pick, it could be a very interesting couple of days in Sacramento.