After signing a large contract extension prior to the start of the season, Buddy has struggled on the court, leaving fans wondering if back up shooting guard, Bogdan Bogdanovic, would be a better fit at the starting two guard now and for the future.
Buddy’s high salary along with other expensive contracts will make it difficult for the Kings to keep the latter in Sacramento. Bogi has had a strong season thus far, minus the injuries, and has consistently provided a spark off the bench.
When Bogi came to Sacramento, he originally got the nod at the starting two guard over Buddy. However, after starting last season injured, Buddy made the most of his starting minutes and proved that he was the better option to start games next to De’Aaron Fox.
Now, with Buddy straying from the shooting touch the League became accustomed to last season and which had earned him his contract, he’s leaving fans wondering if the front office should have offered Bogi the money and tried keeping Hield through restricted free agency.
Even in a down year, Buddy is still putting up solid numbers despite having a lower field goal and three point percentage than we are used to seeing.
He has struggled at times during the season, but he was also the Kings’ sole option in spans where seemingly the whole team was injured.
Recently, since Fox’s return and the recent increase of the pace of play, Buddy is beginning to look like the shooting guard that played so well last season.
Bogdanovic isn’t having a bad year himself by any means. He is putting up exceptional numbers that have now become expected of him coming off the bench. He shoots the ball well, makes plays for his teammates, and really gives the Kings an extra trick up their sleeve.
Even when looking at their career stats, the two are very similar, but it is also where Buddy begins pulling ahead in the comparison.
With practically the same amount of minutes per game in their career, Buddy has shot the ball better from the floor and scored more points.
Although Buddy has another year under his belt in the League, both players are the same age, plus Bogi played professional ball overseas.
Buddy also proves to be immune to getting hurt. Since joining the league, Buddy has only missed two games. On the other hand, Bogi has shown he is a little injury prone in the last couple of seasons.
Looking at advanced stats from this year, Bogi has a better defensive rating compared to Hield, but Buddy has the better offensive rating. In all, their net ratings are pretty much equal to one another, only differing by 0.4 points.
When looking at the numbers, the Kings made the right choice giving Buddy the larger contract. He earned it after last year’s superb play on top of his recent play, showing that he will inevitably get his shooting percentages up.
Bogdanovic is a great player in his own right, and I hope the Kings can find a way to keep him in Sac Town to continue to develop this young core. But Buddy is the better two guard and clearly deserving of being a higher priority.
We will have to see how the two continue to play during the remainder of the season while keeping an eye on the front office as they either try to trade Bogi or hold onto him in restricted free agency.
Both two guards are important to this franchise, but when looking at the numbers, Buddy is definitely number one.