Grading the Golden State Warriors’ Recent Acquisition, Buddy Hield

SUMMARY

  • The Warriors acquired Buddy Hield in a sign-and-trade deal with the 76ers.
  • Hield is more or less an accurate representation of what Klay Thompson was during his prime.

It was certainly difficult to watch the Golden State Warriors spiral out of control last season, ultimately losing their chance to compete in the playoffs. The 2023-24 season was the beginning of the end of the dynasty that was created over a decade. However, the biggest let down last season was Klay Thompson.

After having a spectacular comeback season that resulted in a championship and a follow-up season that was even better, Thompson entered a major slump in his most recent campaign. He averaged some of his lowest numbers since junior season putting up a torrid 17.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. But it was his unfortunate 0-10 performance during an elimination game that pulled the plug.

Buddy Hield could easily fit in as a replacement for Klay Thompson

Thompson entered free agency that offseason and the Dallas Mavericks won the lottery by offering him a three-year, $50 million deal. Despite having a great relationship with the Warriors over the years, Thompson’s association with the franchise turned sour because they didn’t want to risk another terrible season. And as a replacement, the Warriors just acquired Buddy Hield.

Hield was acquired through a sign-and-trade scenario involving the Philadelphia 76ers. He will be paid $18 million over his first two seasons, a $3 million partial guarantee in his third year, and a draft pick for his fourth.

Hield has been one of the most efficient three-point shooters in the league averaging 40% from deep since joining the league in 2016. He is also one of the only individuals to record 270+ three-pointers in a single season multiple times , just like Thompson and his future teammate Steph Curry.

The Warriors need to help Buddy Hield return to form

During his team with the Sacramento Kings, Buddy Hield was more or less a starter who averaged 16.9 points per game along with 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He also made a run for the MIP title averaging 20.7 points per game during the 2018-19 season. However, Hield has not been a consistent starter since leaving the Kings for the Indiana Pacers and 76ers. His numbers dropped dramatically as a result.

The Warriors also intended to bring Thompson off the bench by starting Brandin Podziemski instead. The latter just finished an impressive rookie season but rather than bringing Buddy off the bench, they should include him in the starting lineup to see how much he can impact the team as a second option. Thompson was a second option on the team for a number of years. This could also help Hield emerge as a breakout star. Overall, this acquisition is a solid A- for the Warriors considering they have a few more issues to work out.

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