Buddy Hield became the sixth man of the Sacramento Kings, after a heavy defeat to Detroit in February.
According to The Athletic’s Sam Jones, the idea of playing Hield from the bench didn’t come alone from coach Luke Walton, as the former head coach David Joerger wanted also to do that last season.
According to Jones, who spoke on the latest episode of “Hoops, adjacent” podcast:
“It was horrible, and I’m thinking, ‘Okay this team is done’, and then Luke says, ‘Okay you know what I’m going to do?’ He does what the previous coach wanted to do, Dave Joerger, he benches Buddy Hield and makes him a sixth man.
It’s weird, as angry as Buddy was – and probably still is not to be starting – Buddy plays much better off the bench,” Jones said, per SB Nation.
“I think part of it is, as good as Buddy is, and if you’re talking about tiers of two guards, shooting-wise, Buddy is tier one, but there’s other areas like defensive assignments, ball handling is not his thing. In a lot of ways his skill set says specialist, and I’ve talked to a lot of scouts and coaches and they all said Buddy can play 15 years in the league basically as a hired guy off the bench.”
Namely, Walton decided to bench Hield for Bogdan Bogdanovic, with Sacramento going on a 13-7 winning record, before the NBA decides to pause the season due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The full episode: