Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press
The Sacramento Kings are reportedly planning on having Buddy Hield when they report to training camp.
Per NBC Sports Bay Area’s James Ham, the Kings “expect him to be ready for the start of training camp and the season, whenever that might be.”
Jason Jones of The Athletic reported Friday that Hield “has soured” on Kings head coach Luke Walton and has stopped answering his phone calls.
Hield and Walton, who just finished his first year as Sacramento’s head coach, had their differences during the 2019-20 season. The 27-year-old was removed from the starting lineup in January, with Bogdan Bogdanovic taking his spot.
Before a 98-81 win over the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 24, Walton insisted Hield’s move to the bench was temporary.
“It’s not a permanent thing,” Walton told reporters. “We’ll see how this goes and move forward from this. It’s about the team being ready to play and not being caught up in who’s in the starting lineup or not.”
The move reportedly never sat well with Hield, as Jones, Shams Charania and Sam Amick reported Feb. 12 the Oklahoma alum “might request a trade” if he remained unhappy coming off the bench.
Hield didn’t return to the starting lineup for the remainder of the Kings’ season. He signed a four-year contract extension that includes $86 million guaranteed and another $20 million in incentives last October.
In 72 games during the 2019-20 campaign, Hield averaged 19.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. He shot 39.4 percent from three-point range.