August 20, 2017, 10:19 pm
Hoop Ball Kings is proud to bring you the second installment of a brand new series that we are rolling out in the lead up to the 2017-18 NBA season. Over the next two months we will be doing a roundtable series which involves all three of our writers here at Hoop Ball Kings. We’ll be discussing various topics including season projections for each player on the Kings roster, record predictions and more.
First and foremost, we will run through every player currently on the Kings roster and provide our personal predictions for their output this season.
Our second installment features Buddy Hield, Sacramento’s young shooting guard who blossomed in his time with the Kings last season. After being acquired in the DeMarcus Cousins trade during the 2017 All-Star game, Hield compiled averages of 15.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 29.1 minutes per game (25 games) on 48 percent shooting from the field (42.8 percent from three).
Hield was terrific on the whole, knocking down jumpers and creating his own shot with ease. His ball handling was his only detriment and it led to him turning the ball over 2.1 times per game with the Kings. The 23-year-old was a completely different player with Sacramento than he was with New Orleans. Hield shot just 39.3 percent from the field in 57 games with the Pelicans and looked lost at times on both ends. With that said, which Buddy Hield will the Kings get this season?
Stat-line Prediction: 14.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.1 blocks. 43.9% FG, 37.1% 3PT, 86% FT.
At this point, you kind of get the sense we may see a mixture of both Hield’s from last season. Hield could start the season as the starting shooting guard, but with guys like Temple, Bogdanovic and Richardson not far behind him it won’t take much for Hield to lose minutes. It’s going to be hard for him to match the efficiency he produced at the end of last season so don’t go expecting him to shoot over 40 percent from three again.
He’s proven he’s capable of achieving it, however, I fear an increase in usage is a bad thing for Hield. It’ll be interesting to see how his ball handling has improved over the summer too, because if he hasn’t made much of a leap in that department we may not see Hield on the floor much.
Stat-line Prediction: 11.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks. 41.5% FG, 38.5% 3PT, 85% FT.
Hield is one of the tougher players on the roster to pin down. The team has plenty of talent at shooting guard, and his lack of size and playmaking ability limits his opportunities to find minutes at other positions. On the other hand, Hield showed plenty of promise as a scorer after the All-Star break, so he’ll be given plenty of opportunity early on.
Also, while it’s never likely to be a major aspect of his game, I’d expect Hield to get some opportunities to show what he can do as a passer in year two. Either way, Hield will likely be given the green light whenever he’s on the court, and is still going to hover around 20 minutes per game.
Stat-line Prediction: 17.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks. 46.7% FG, 39% 3PT, 85% FT.
Hield made the most of his opportunities with Sacramento after being traded for DeMarcus Cousins, and he should continue his advancement this year coming into his second season in the league. Look for Hield to be an integral part of the Kings offense and don’t be surprised if he hoists upwards of five 3-pointers per game.