The statistics line was representative of an authentic National Basketball Association (NBA) star.
The superstar status has not yet been attained, but without a doubt, Bahamian Buddy Hield, the starting shooting guard for the Sacramento Kings, is beyond being just a “Rising Star” as he has brought consistency into his game, during this, the third season out of college.
Hield was on fire early, and spearheaded the Kings’ momentum for the game, in a 146-115 runaway victory on Thursday over the Atlanta Hawks. In just 33 minutes on the court, Hield scored 27 points on 10-17 shooting, inclusive of 5-7 from downtown; and was excellent in other areas, grabbing five rebounds and dishing out six assists.
It was Hield’s fifth consecutive game, scoring 20 or more. The Kings are 6-3, looking surprisingly on par with the powers of the Western Conference. Hield is a huge factor and he and the Kings seem headed for a union that will carry over into another four/five years. He is coming of age in the NBA and figures to up his $3.5 million annual salary in a big way.
Hield is in the final of the three-year contract signed as the No. 6 draft pick out of Oklahoma University. He won’t break the bank, but at this rate his agent should be able to add at least another nine million or so to his annual salary.
Judging the contracts in the NBA, as a third-year man with a quality game, Hield‘s market value, if the consistency holds, should place easily in the double figure-millions area per season. I think he is worth a five-year contract of $60 million or more. To put Hield’s present value into context, let’s look at another Bahamian-flavored player.
Reference is to the sharp-shooting, one half of the Splash Brothers of the Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson. He is closing out a contract that pays him around $15.5 million annually. An agent should use such a gauge. Yes indeed, one must be mindful that Thompson is at another level. He is an NBA scoring milestone achiever.
Just recently he canned 14 three-pointers in a game to add to his NBA scoring records.
Hield is not yet up there with Thompson, but after watching portions of his game two nights ago against the Atlanta Hawks, it sure looks as though, barring an injury, he will improve considerably. I came away, after watching him, with a take that he is a shorter Scottie Pippen type, but, deadlier from long range. I like the way he drove, faked and moved to the basket for easy lay-ups.
He has become quite good at cutting to get inside for easy buckets. Against, Atlanta, he made nifty passes as he compiled six assists. He is quick on defense and frustrating for opposing players as he steals or creates them.
It was easy to appreciate that the Grand Bahama native is on a great mission to demonstrate that he is ready to fit into another category on All-Star weekend. He is certainly playing like an all-star early this season.
The Kings play again, on Sunday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
•To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at email@example.com or on WhatsApp at 727-6363.