The Sacramento Kings finally decided to undergo a full-scale rebuild after trading DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for a trade package center on rookie Buddy Hield. Though most people think the Kings made a big mistake, owner Vivek Ranadive reportedly sees a “Stephen Curry potential” in Hield.
“Vivek thinks Buddy [Hield] has Steph Curry potential,” a source told Baxter Holmes of ESPN.com. Few days before the February 23 trade deadline, a blockbuster deal happened between the Kings and the Pelicans. After promising him that he would not be traded, Sacramento finally bid farewell to DeMarcus Cousins. The deal sent “Boogie” and swingman Omri Casspi to New Orleans for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-rounder.
The Pelicans obviously won the deal as they got another superstar to pair with Anthony Davis. In 55 games this season, Cousins averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. However, for Kings owner Vivek Ranadive, the deal was just right since they acquired a potential superstar who could become the next Stephen Curry.
Buddy Hield the next Stephen Curry
In his four years at the amateur level, Buddy Hield proved to be a prolific scorer and sharpshooter like Stephen Curry. He managed to increase his scoring average per season and some people compared his work ethic to Lakers legend Kobe Bryant. However, for Dane Carbaugh of NBC Sports, the only similarity between Hield and Curry is their ability to score.
“Hield was an excellent scorer in college and has the kind of range that makes him a prime candidate for the type of offenses being developed in the modern NBA. But that’s where the reasonable comparisons end for him and Curry. Come on. For one, Hield is a true shooting guard. No part of his game is crafted to be the primary ball handler at an NBA level. He’s not the passer Stephen Curry is, nor was he even as good at that as Klay Thompson was in college,” Carbaugh wrote.
As of now, Hield’s NBA performance doesn’t hint much that he could follow the footsteps of the Warriors star. In 57 games this season, he averaged 8.6 points and 1.4 assists on 39.2 percent from the field and 36.9 percent from beyond the arc. In Curry’s rookie season, he already averaged 17.5 points and 5.9 assists on 46.2 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from the three-point range.
With how Ranadive views Hield, they must be seeing him as their future franchise player. Buddy Hield should prove that the Kings made the right decision of trading DeMarcus Cousins. Also, Hield must show the “Stephen Curry potential” the Kings see in him.
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