Grading Buddy Hield’s 2017-2018 Campaign

SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 11: Buddy Hield
SACRAMENTO, CA - APRIL 11: Buddy Hield /

With the season now over for the Sacramento Kings, A Royal Pain will now start a new writing series where we grade how each player performed on the current roster for the purple and white. This article’s player will be Buddy “Buckets” Hield.

This season, Buddy Hield gave basketball fans a clearer perspective of what type of player he will be going further into his career. With that being said, listed down below is my analysis on Hield on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.


Hield showed solid progress as an offensive player. For the season he averaged 13.5 points a contest whiling shooting 44.6% from the floor and 43.1% from the three-point line. In my opinion, I could not be any happier with the way Buddy shot the basketball. He was efficient and consistent in this aspect of the game and has definitely given Kings fans confidence that he will be a future sharpshooter. Hield also showcased the ability to set up his teammates to score as he averaged close to three assists a game in the final two months of the season.

If there is one main critique of Buddy’s offensive game this season it was his ball-handling skills. If he is able to improve his dribbling, it will improve his ability to drive to the basket which will make him a double threat on the offensive end.


On the defensive end, Buddy was average. For the season, he recorded a defensive rating of 110.8 which was ranked sixth amongst his teammates.

Hield does not have the physical tools to be an elite defender, but his motor makes him an effective one. Throughout this year, Hield showed flashes of his peak defensive ability which was a smart player who actively defended his opponents.

In terms of what Hield needs to do to improve, I think consistency will be the next step for him. If he continues to show immense effort on this side of the ball going forward, I believe he will eventually be a defensive asset for his team.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Buddy had himself a good season as he improved a lot in the later stages of the year. Right now I see him as a top-option scorer for the Kings due to his ability to make shots. But once he improves his ball handling is when he can become a legit scoring machine.

On defense, consistency needs to be a goal for him. I think he can become a defensive asset for Sacramento if he starts to become a reliable defender game in and game out.

Next: Should the Kings bring Vinsanity back next season?

There were high expectations towards Buddy due to being the main piece the Kings got back in return for trading DeMarcus Cousins last year, and so far he has been a pleasant surprise. Although he may never show the production that Boogie once had in Sacramento, Buddy is a guy that has made great leaps of improvement since becoming a King and looks to be one of the main players in the team’s rebuild going forth.

Season Grade: B