When Buddy Hield was locked in a contract-extension standoff with the Kings, he hinted about leaving then said, “Name one big free agent that came to Sacramento.” When he played sparingly in crunch time, Hield brought up trust issues within the team. When the Kings got booed at home, Hield said, “That’s how Sacramento fans are.”
If Hield remains displeased with his role, a source with knowledge of his thinking said he might request a trade.
“If” and “might” are huge qualifiers that make this report meaningless at face value.
But read the subtext: This is a prelude to a threat, which can also just be called a threat.
Players often grumble about their role. It just usually doesn’t become public. So, this is a little more than a standard situation.
Will it escalate further? It sounds as if Hield is putting the onus on the Kings to please him.
Hield would garner plenty of interest from other teams. But he’s locked up four seasons after this one. So, Sacramento has a lot of leverage. Still, as Dewayne Dedmon just showed, trade requests can be effective with the Kings.
Bogdanovic will be a restricted free agent this summer, and Sacramento reportedly plans to keep him. The Kings also have leverage in that situation.
But it can be difficult to build a successful roster with two high-earning shooting guards. Something will probably have to give eventually.
In the meantime, Sacramento has bigger problems.