$94 Million Sixers Free Agent Considers Staying ‘the Priority’

Buddy Hield

Getty Buddy Hield

After the New York Knicks eliminated the Philadelphia 76ers, Buddy Hield talked about his upcoming free agency. Hield explained that he wants to stay and whether the interest is mutual on the Sixers’ end.

“I’m here now,” he told reporters, per Sixers Wire’s Ky Carlin. “Yeah, we didn’t get things done how we wanted, but I’d like to be in Philly again. Philly, they traded for me, and I feel like they want me, too. To me, I look at it like I came to the party late. There were a lot of injuries. Before I was here, the team was rolling.”

Hield made it clear that staying with the Sixers is what he wants, but he’s open to anything.

“They had their guys they trusted, and I can understand that,” Hield added. “Right now, Philly’s the priority for me. We’ll see when it comes down. My agent is one call away, and we’ll figure something out, but if not, I’ll put my head down and keep working and I’m sure God is going to open up doors for me and for others.”

The Sixers acquired Hield at the trade deadline. He was in the last year of a four-year, $94 million contract that he signed with the Sacramento Kings.

Daryl Morey Gives Honest Thoughts on Buddy Hield

Acquiring Hield gave the Sixers their first three-point sniper since the JJ Redick days. During his May 6 press conference, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey gave his honest thoughts on the Hield acquisition.

Per Philly Voice’s Kyle Neubeck, Morey thought that “the fit was less good than I thought.” Neubeck then summarized Morey’s thoughts on Hield’s fit next to Embiid.

“(Morey) says that when Embiid returned, he was not able to get as many open shots as they expected, says it was their fault on the full roster evaluation rather than a failure of Buddy’s (and that he could still come back).”

Mid-season acquisitions often struggle initially because they are tasked with integrating themselves into the team’s playbook as quickly as possible. Hield averaged 12.1 points during the 2023-24 season. That is a dropoff compared to what he has put up in the past. He actually put up a higher scoring average with the Sixers than he did with the Indiana Pacers – 12.2 to 12.

With a training camp under his belt, Hield’s performance with the Sixers could improve. Impressively, though, due to circumstances, Hield played 84 games in an 82-game season.

Sixers Considered ‘Foremost Threat’ for Paul George

Whether they keep Hield or not, the Sixers’ priority in free agency is adding Paul George. NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Sixers are the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Clippers for George on the #thisleague UNCUT podcast.

“They are seen as the foremost threat on the NBA map to swipe Paul George away from the Clippers. The Orlando Magic also have to be in that conversation, but it’s the 76ers who have the Clippers most concerned here, and I’m talking about long-term concerns,” as was transcribed by Bleacher Report’s Paul Kasabian.

If the Sixers succeed, that clouds Hield’s future with the Sixers.

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