Kings guard Buddy Hield is ready to make a long-term commitment to Sacramento. Now he wants the organization to make the same commitment to him.
Hield expressed some frustration while opening up about his contract talks with the team in an interview with The Sacramento Bee late Thursday night following a 105-88 preseason victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Kings have until Oct. 21 to sign Hield to a rookie-scale extension or he will become a restricted free agent next summer.
“We need to get that done,” Hield told The Bee. “I want to get that done, for sure. If it doesn’t get done, things could go the other way. This is where I want to be, so it would be good for me to be here in Sacramento. If I’m their guy, I think they should make it happen already. I want to build a future here. I want to be here, but we have to see something. Something’s gotta come to the table. We have a week and a half to see what that brings, but I want to be here.”
Kings general manager Vlade Divac recently told The Bee that “Buddy is (a) very important piece to this franchise” and “we’ll figure something out down the road.”
Hield wants that to happen sooner than later. Based on current cap projections, he is eligible for a four-year deal worth about $130.7 million or a five-year, designated-player extension worth up to about $170 million. Those figures could drop if salary cap projections are reduced due to potential revenue losses in China.
Signing Hield to a max extension could hinder the organization’s ability to re-sign other core players. Bogdan Bogdanovic, hot off a huge summer with the Serbian national team, is currently eligible for a four-year extension worth about $51.4 million. The Kings have until June 30 to sign Bogdanovic to an extension or he will become a restricted free agent. De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III will be eligible for extensions in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Hield said his agent, Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports, is engaged in discussions with the team, but he didn’t sound confident the two sides are close to an agreement. Hield did not say if he is seeking a max extension, but he clearly wants more than the Kings are offering at this point.
“As a player, you want to have that trust that the franchise has your back and we’re just waiting for them to make a move and come to an agreement,” Hield said. “They’re talking, but nothing is moving yet. Nothing has moved. I’m ready to make things happen, man. I want to make Sacramento my home. I’m ready to get this s--- done. I want to be here and if it doesn’t happen, then things can go the other way.”
Hield has flourished in Sacramento since the Kings acquired him in the trade that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans in 2017, emerging as one of the game’s elite 3-point shooters. He averaged a team-high 20.7 points per game last season, shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from 3-point range. Hield set a single-season franchise record with 278 3-point goals last season and became the first player in NBA history to make 600 3-pointers in his first three seasons.
“I know what I’m worth,” Hield said. “I know what I bring to the table. I know what my value is. Not many guys can shoot the ball like me in the league. I make other guys better by just being on the court because they can’t leave me, and if they leave me it’s 45 percent my shot is going in, so I’m sure other teams would like that, too.”
Sacramento Kings preseason schedule
Oct. 4: Indiana Pacers 132, Kings 131 (OT)
Oct. 5: Indiana Pacers 130, Kings 106
Oct. 10: Kings 105, Phoenix Suns 88
Oct. 14 at Utah Jazz, 6 p.m.
Oct. 16 vs. Melbourne United, 7 p.m.