The Denver Nuggets are currently 8th in the Western Conference and are underperforming relative to where they were last year. The Denver Nuggets were 3rd in the West last season and showed that they were deserving of contender status by eliminating the Los Angeles Clippers in the playoffs. Despite being beaten by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Conference Finals, the Denver Nuggets were supposed to come into this season as a top-tier team, rather than a bottom playoff seed.
The Denver Nuggets have a solid roster, but they could use another elite offensive weapon to put next to Nikola Jokic. One of the players that could be a good fit in Denver is Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings. The Sacramento Kings are 13th in the Western Conference, and their roster doesn't look like it can compete for a playoff seed. Here is a possible trade package between the two teams:
Denver Nuggets Receive: Buddy Hield
Sacramento Kings Receive: Gary Harris, R. J. Hampton, Bol Bol
The Sacramento Kings Get Some Intriguing Prospects
Buddy Hield has one of the highest earners on the Sacramento Kings, while also being on a 4-year contract. However, he has struggled mightily this season. Buddy Hield is currently shooting 36.9% from the field and 36.1% from beyond the arc. Those are both lower than his marks last season. The Sacramento Kings could elect to trade Buddy Hield to a contender, as it is clear that a Fox-Hield backcourt isn't going to get them far in the Western Conference. It would also free up some playing time for Tyrese Haliburton, who was one of the most promising point guards in the 2020 NBA Draft.
With this deal, the Sacramento Kings would get a contract to match Buddy Hield's, and some interesting prospects that could develop given more playing time. Gary Harris would be there for contract matching purposes: but he is also a solid defensive guard who can also shoot from beyond the arc (35.9% career 3PT percentage).
While Harris is a good player, the steal here for the Sacramento Kings would be two fairly unknown prospects who simply cannot break into the Nuggets rotation. Bol Bol is a 7'2 giant who can also shoot the ball. His 3PT percentage in the G-League during the 2019-20 season was 36.4%, a solid mark for a big man. R. J. Hampton was highly-touted out of high school and is an athletic combo guard who can defend fairly well, and has untapped offensive potential. While they aren't top-tier lottery prospects, they are players who could succeed if given the minutes. The Sacramento Kings would get a solid deal for a player who has underperformed so far this season.
Denver Nuggets Get A 3PT Marksman
Buddy Hield hasn't had the best season offensively, but that could change in Denver. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are two players that have an extreme gravitational pull on the offensive end: they command a lot of defensive attention, and both are unselfish players who are willing to make the extra pass. As the third and possibly fourth option on offense on a given night, Buddy Hield would have the ability to hunt for his preferred spots on a contender, while on the Sacramento Kings, he is expected to be a primary creator. Playing off of two elite offensive stars is a dream for a shooter like Buddy Hield, who shoots 40.4% from 3PT range for his career.
The Denver Nuggets look like they need a jolt to their roster, and Buddy Hield could provide it. Having another perimeter player who can play within a system but also create for themselves could potentially push the Denver Nuggets to another level. While Buddy Hield may not be the best option to try and be the main scorer on a franchise, he would be perfect on the Denver Nuggets, where he would benefit from having some defensive attention taken off of him. Championship contenders always welcome elite shooters: prior to this season Buddy Hield was in the elite shooter category, so it would make sense if the Nuggets tried to acquire him. The move to Denver would be beneficial for Buddy Hield and for the Nuggets, though nothing concrete has materialized yet.