Monday, Dec 10, 2018
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Hield, Kings heading toward multi-year contract  

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 Chavano ‘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, his third season out of college.

Hield is averaging career-high numbers in points, rebounds and assists – posting numbers of 19.2, 5.5 and 2.6 respectively. He is shooting a career-best 48.4 percent from the field and 44.3 percent from distance.

Hield has made at least one three point shot in 33 straight games dating back to last season, and is in a four-way tie for 12th in the league in three pointers made this season with 43. He is seventh in the league in three-point shooting among those with at least 75 attempts.

The Kings have a 10-8 win-loss record and are tied for ninth in the NBA’s Western Conference. Hield is a huge factor in the team’s success this season, 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 year of the three-year contract signed as the No. 6 draft pick out of the University of Oklahoma. He won’t break the bank, but at this rate his agent should be able to add at least another nine million dollars 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 and a four-time NBA all-star. 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, 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 the basket for easy buckets. He passes the ball well and is quick on defense. 

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. He is certainly playing like an all-star early this season. 

Go ‘Buddy’!

• To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at e-mail address sturrup1504@gmail.com or on WhatsApp at (242) 727-6363.

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