If you did not watch college basketball last season, you missed out on an incredible year by Oklahoma shooting guard, Buddy Hield. The senior had a career year last season, as he averaged 25 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game. Not only was he great at creating opportunities to score, but he was very efficient as well. He was 50.1% from the field while shooting 88% from the free throw line. Hield has the intangibles that an NBA star has, but can he become a superstar? And will Atlanta make a move to get him?
Atlanta is a good team. They are a good team that seems to have hit their ceiling. It’s nothing against the Hawks, but with Lebron James still in the eastern conference, they need to find a way to overcome whatever team he may play for. James has owned the league since he entered in 2004, and has gone to the past five NBA finals, and looks to be going to his sixth in the upcoming days. That is why Atlanta must make moves in order to further help their team now and in the future.
The Hawks should try to find a team in the top 10 that is desperate for a point guard. I see a team like the Minnesota Timberwolves in need, as Ricky Rubio is a very average point guard. Now he could be an elite backup point guard, but his shot is awful, and many teams depend on their guards to take shots from all over the court. Sending point guard Jeff Teague, our first round pick this year, and maybe another role player or draft pick could convince the Timberwolves to trade back. Teague is a veteran point guard that can take over a game, and would be much more efficient than Rubio.
Buddy Hield could make an impact quickly if given the chance. Kyle Korver is 35 years old, and he would be very effective coming off the bench. His legs are only getting worse, and being able to bring him off the bench could be a deadly move against other teams. Hield would maybe take a year or two before starting, but he would be an effective backcourt player that can create his own shots. He was 45.7% from the three-point arc last season with the Sooners, so he will be another shooter for the team. Standing 6-foot-4 and 214 pounds at shooting guard, many teams have concerns that Hield might get bodied in the paint.
There are very difficult decisions that Atlanta is facing this offseason. Do they want to blow the team up or keep the same team? As the 21st selection in the 2016 NBA Draft, I have low expectations on the player we select that far back. The past couple of drafts have been rough for the Hawks, with Dennis Schroder being one of the few selections that has actually panned out. So instead of sitting back at 21, Atlanta should try to find a way to move up and take an impact player that can make a difference. Hield might not make a difference in year one, but he most definitely can make a difference in his upcoming years as an NBA player.