• 2017-18 averages: 80 G | 12 GS | 25.3 MP | 13.5 PTS | 3.8 REB | 1.9 AST | 1.1 STL | 0.3 BLK | 1.6 TOV | 44.6 FG% | 43.1 3P% | 87.7 FT% |

    Coming into his second season Buddy Hield was a focal point of the Kings’ lineup — and for good reason since he was one of the main pieces the Kings got in return for DeMarcus Cousins.

    Hield would somewhat falter in the early part of the season, though, especially as a starter. In 12 games as part of the starting five, Hield averaged just 12.8 points in 26.2 minutes per game. His scoring wasn’t so much the issue opposed to his shooting percentage. The 24-year-old shot just 39.1 percent in those games and knocked down just 35.4 percent of his 3-point attempts. His offensive rating as a starter was a minuscule 94, while that ballooned as a reserve was a respectably solid 105.

    October, which was the only month when Hield started the bulk of the team’s game, was all the evidence the team needed to move Hield to the bench. He finished the month with what would be season low averages in scoring, offensive rating, field goal percentage, 3-point percentage and true shooting percentage.

    Once Hield made the shift from starter to reserve, he flourished. Hield shot 45 percent from the field or better in just two of his first seven starts. In his first three games coming off the bench he shot 61.2 percent.

    It was obvious that Hield was able to take advantage of going up against team’s reserves and he became the most important part of Sacramento’s second unit. This was evident in Hield’s usage, where he had the team’s second highest usage percentage on the team — behind only Zach Randolph.

    Hield’s position as the team’s sixth man became more prominent as the season continued and his ability to put up consistent numbers off the bench was something the Kings not only enjoyed but relied on. The team’s bench, with Hield leading the charge, outscored the starters on a number of occasions down the stretch of the season.

    Hield’s confidence was exemplary as the season went on and he showed an ability to not only shoot good shots, but to effectively use down screens on a regular basis – as shown here against the Celtics:

    He also showed an an ability to create his own shot:

    Although only 6.3 percent of his shots were after seven or more dribbles, the Bahamian knocked down 49.1 percent of his attempts when that occurred. Hield’s highest shot selection percentage (34.7 percent), of course, came on catch and shoot situations (0 dribbles) where he made 53.0 percent of his attempts.

    Hield’s ability to knock down 3-pointers off of screens and without dribbling was also as impressive. He made 50.2 percent of his attempts without even dribbling the ball.

    The offense and confidence from Hield was something the team needed to see, but his development hardly started there.

    Although the team didn’t play good defense for much of the season, Hield had one of the top defensive ratings on the team (a modest 111 DRTG) and tied for the team lead in steals per game at 1.1 with Willie Cauley-Stein.

    Hield’s ability to become a pest on defense was shown by the amount of careless turnovers he forced as he applied full-court pressure sporadically or challenged for a lazy inbounds pass.

    He showed that he not only paid attention to his opponent’s every move, but he was also able to take advantage of their poor decisions.

    Here’s Hield in a bubble :

    As if the offense from the sixth man slot and defensive ability wasn’t enough, Hield also showed that he could pass the ball. In the final two months of the season, Hield almost doubled his average of assists from the months prior. From October to February, Hield averaged 1.6 assists per game and in March and April, he boosted that up to to 2.9 per game.

    One of the only faults Hield may have had this year was his lack of getting to the basket. He sometimes settled for shots that could have been easier and didn’t really get to the free throw line; he averaged just 1.0 free throws per game.

    When the Kings traded for Hield, it was more than likely they envisioned him being a starting two guard, but with his ability to effortlessly score off the bench, the team had no choice but to utilize him against second string squads.

    A Sixth Man of the Year award isn’t far fetched for Hield down the road. If the Kings use him correctly and play him consistent minutes, he’s proven to give good results off the bench and that’s all the team should ask for from him at this point.

Fantasy News

  • D'Angelo Russell
    PG, Golden State Warriors

    D'Angelo Russell dropped 26 points on 10-of-21 shooting, and only adding three boards and three assists to his line in Wednesday's 129-96 blowout loss to the Jazz on Wednesday.

    D'Angelo Russell has been the one bright spot for fantasy owners on the Warriors. He is still only a mid-round player on the year, and the Warriors could start to rest their star off-season acquisition down the stretch.

  • Kris Dunn
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Kris Dunn scored 14 points with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 32 minutes on Wednesday.

    Dunn also got to the line nine times and hit eight of them, a surprise bonus for a player who averages less than one attempt per game. Dunn is ranked just outside the top-100 thanks to his 2.0 steals per game. He doesn't add much in other categories, but the consistent steals makes him worth rostering in standard leagues.

  • Draymond Green
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green only attempted three shots in 25 minutes on Wednesday, ending with five points (2-3 FG, 1-2 3PT), four rebounds, two assists and a steal, while failing to make it to the charity stripe.

    Green hasn't been the player we've come to know over the last few seasons. It's going to be tough to trust him to play on a nightly basis, and even when he does, there's a lot of volatility in his performances.

  • Marquese Chriss
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Marquese Chriss turned 18 bench minutes into 11 points, eight rebounds and an assist.

    It was a tough night for Warriors big men going up against Rudy Gobert. Chriss had the best luck, as starter, Willie Cauley-Stein, went 0-for-5 in 14 minutes. Eric Paschall fared slightly better, also coming off the bench for 26 minutes to end with 11 points (4-10 FG), four rebounds and three assists.

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Lauri Markkanen scored 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go with six rebounds and four triples in 34 minutes on Wednesday.

    It was a nice bounce-back effort for Markkanen who scored only eight points on 2-of-11 shooting in 31 minutes on Monday. Markkanen owners are desperately hoping he can get it going after a disappointing first half of the season. He's a top-100 player on the season but has showed the ability to produce top-50 numbers and is a buy-low target.

  • Rudy Gobert
    C, Utah Jazz

    Rudy Gobert stuffed the stat sheet with 22 points (10-13 FG, 2-7 FT), 15 rebounds, two assists, a steal and three blocks on Wednesday night.

    Gobert is making a case to pop into second-round value on the season after tonight's performance. Unfortunately, the 2-for-7 shooting from the charity stripe is a stain on an otherwise excellent line, but owners know to expect this from the Frenchman.

  • DeMar DeRozan
    SG, San Antonio Spurs

    DeMar DeRozan went 8-of-16 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line for 20 points on Wednesday, but was quiet in other areas, notching just five rebounds, one assist and one steal in 36 minutes.

    DeRozan did commit just one turnover, so he does emerge with a 5-cat special if you're in a 9-category league. His assists should be back in no time, so count on him to be a force in the game ROS.

  • Cristiano Felicio
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Cristiano Felicio double-doubled with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 10 rebounds in 22 minutes on Wednesday.

    Felicio came off the bench to start the game but started the second half over Luke Kornet (15 points in 18 minutes on Wednesday). It could be possible Coach Boylen favors Felicio over Kornet moving forward while Wendell Carter Jr. and Daniel Gafford are out. Standard-league GMs should wait for one more good game from Felicio before adding him and those who picked up Kornet should hold for one more game before dropping.

  • LaMarcus Aldridge
    PF, San Antonio Spurs

    LaMarcus Aldridge paced the Spurs with 32 points on 12-of-20 shooting, plus 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and two blocks in Wednesday's 121-117 over Zion Williamson and the Pelicans.

    Aldridge was near-unstoppable as he had his way in the paint and at the line (7-of-8). He was not fazed by all the brouhaha surrounding Zion Williamson's regular season debut. While Zion is clearly the future of fantasy, Aldridge is the here-and-now as he serves up a top-30 value floor night in and night out.

  • Joe Ingles
    SF, Utah Jazz

    Joe Ingles scored 11 points (4-of-7 shooting) and chipped in two rebounds and eight assists on Wednesday.

    The minutes in this contest were all over the place since the Jazz went up 14 after the first quarter and never looked back. Mike Conley saw 19 minutes off the bench and scored eight points on 4-of-10 from the floor, while Georges Niang saw 22 minutes and dropped 11 points of 4-of-7 shooting. For now, Ingles is still starting over Conley so he should be held onto until things change.