This article is part of a series that A Royal Pain is writing where we grade each player on the Sacramento Kings individually.
For this article specifically, we will evaluate the performance of Buddy Hield. We will grade Buddy based on his offensive, defensive, and overall performances so far in the 2017-2018 season.
Buddy Hield has been one of the Kings’ best scorers this season. For the year, he is averaging 12.5 points a contest (ranked second on the team) while shooting 43.7% from the court, 42.5% from the three-point line, and 87% from the free-throw line.
In my mind, Hield is only effective if he is able to score. There have been times where Buddy has been a dynamic scorer due to his fire shooting, but there have also been those moments where he is ice-cold from the court and becomes a liability.
Because Hield can be a streaky shooter at times is why I am giving him a “B” grade on offense. Once he becomes a more consistent scorer and can expand his game outside of shooting is when he can become a major offensive asset for the Kings.
Hield has not been a good defender this season and he is a reason why Sacramento as a whole has struggled on this end of the floor. For the year, Hield has recorded a 112.2 defensive rating which is ranked seventh amongst his teammates.
Although Buddy has been subpar on defense this year, I give him an average grade due to the effort he puts on the court. He may get beat by his opponents often, but his energy is always active while defending. Because of this, it does make him one of the better defenders on the team, in my mind.
Overall, Buddy has had a solid season so far, but obviously, there are improvements he can make in his game.
Hield has shown he can become one of the Kings’ better scorers, maybe even the best, on the current roster, but he needs to be more consistent in his jump shot. Defensively, I don’t think he will ever become a lock-down defender, but he can be a solid one if he continues to be active and improve.
With one-and-a-half years of NBA basketball under his belt, Buddy Buckets is on the right track. If he continues to keep working and have a great attitude during the process, I am confident he can be a long-term benefit for the Kings going forth.