Sacramento Kings

Kings mailbag: Buddy Hield’s contract talks, Luke Walton’s rotation, team weaknesses

The call for questions for this week’s mailbag came right after we endeavored to determine the true — or at least NBA-certified — height of Kings forward Marvin Bagley III.

Some people took that topic very seriously. Others thought it was silly. We have critical issues to discuss like contract extensions for Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic, Luke Walton’s rotation and the team’s weaknesses heading into Monday’s preseason game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

So let’s move past faux controversies and get into some important subjects …

@TonyXypteras asks: How tall is Kyle Guy?

Well, if you really want to know, Guy is listed at 6-foot-1. That’s his official NBA-certified height without shoes. I don’t want to start stuff, but he was listed at 6-2 at Virginia.

@TonyXypteras asks: How tall is the Taj Mahal?

Alright, I see what you’re doing, Tony. Since you asked, the Taj Mahal is listed at 240 feet tall, but to my knowledge that is not NBA certified.

@TonyXypteras asks: How tall is Vivek Ranadive?

Oh, come on! The Kings owner isn’t on the roster and is not required to submit certified measurements to the NBA, but I can tell you he’s shorter than Yogi Ferrell.

@Jaysutton2003 asks: Will Chavano Ranier Hield or Bogdan Bogdanovic get extensions before the deadline?

Some may not know Chavano is Buddy’s official Bahamian-certified name. The Kings have until Oct. 21 to re-sign Hield, who is eligible for a four-year rookie-scale extension worth up to $130.7 million or a five-year designated-player extension worth up to $170 million. They have until June 30 to re-sign Bogdanovic, who is eligible for a four-year deal worth up to $51.4 million.

If those deadlines pass without an agreement, both players will become restricted free agents next summer, meaning the Kings would have the right to match any offers they receive from other teams. Hield made it clear he wants to stay in Sacramento and is eager to get his deal done now, but that seems unlikely.

Hield is not demanding a max extension, but he wants more than the team has offered up to this point. A league source told The Sacramento Bee there was no new movement in those discussions as of Saturday afternoon. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement, the Kings will let the free-agent market determine Hield’s value next summer.

Bogdanovic is likely to end up becoming a restricted free agent as well, but for different reasons. The Kings would probably sign him to a max extension right now if he would agree to an average salary of $12.85 million, but after a big summer with the Serbian national team he could command more money as one of the best players in a weak free-agent class.

@Mikedaviswins asks: Assuming everyone is healthy, what does the rotation look like? 9-10 man rotation?

Walton said a 12-man rotation isn’t realistic during the regular season, so a nine- or 10-man rotation is probably what we’ll see. The rotation will feature De’Aaron Fox, Hield, Bogdanovic, Harrison Barnes, Bagley and Dewayne Dedmon. Cory Joseph and Trevor Ariza will also get significant minutes. The other two rotation spots will go to Richaun Holmes, Nemanja Bjelica and Harry Giles III, depending on who is healthy and playing well. Ferrell will give the Kings an emergency scoring option off the bench.

@BPeriod24 asks: I know it’s pre-season … but the games in India looked exactly the same as the games last year … big leads lost, defense lacking, rebounding scarce. Seen anything to think it’ll improve when the season starts?

I would have said no a week ago, but there were some encouraging signs in Thursday’s victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Kings held the Suns to 31.4 percent shooting and 6 of 33 from 3-point range while amassing a 59-43 rebounding advantage.

This team is a work in progress with a new coaching staff and new rotational pieces. We don’t know what the Kings are going to be yet, but it’s safe to say they will be far better than the team that traveled to India with little practice time to play an established Eastern Conference playoff team.

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.

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He started his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.