Why De'Aaron Fox hopes Buddy Hield, Kings get contract extension done

Why De'Aaron Fox hopes Buddy Hield, Kings get contract extension done

SACRAMENTO -- The clock is ticking.

Can the Sacramento Kings and shooting guard Buddy Hield agree on a long-term contract extension before the Oct. 21 deadline, or must he play out this season and enter the summer as a restricted free agent?

Hield has been vocal about remaining in Sacramento, and he even might be willing to take less than the maximum.

On Saturday afternoon, De’Aaron Fox lent his support to his starting backcourt mate.

“Everybody deals with their own, so it’s something I worry about, but obviously, I want to continue to play with a guy like that,” Fox told NBC Sports California. “For me, just hopefully they get it done.”

Fox and Hield built chemistry on the floor last season, and are developing into a dynamic backcourt. While Fox isn’t going to jump in and help out with negotiations, he'd like to keep Hield and the rest of the young core together in Sacramento and see if they can develop into something special.

“For sure,” Fox said when asked about the core staying together. “I think we have a lot of things that we can continue to get better at, and I think once everyone is at their peak, I think we’ll be a hell of a team.”

Hield is the first of the Kings' key players to go through the negotiating process with general manager Vlade Divac, but this is only the beginning.

Bogdan Bogdanovic is in the final year of his first NBA contract. While he falls under the league’s restrictions for rookie-scale contracts and can become a restricted free agent after this season, the Kings have until June 30 to work out an extension for the 27-year-old wing.

Divac and his staff also can begin negotiations on an extension with Fox next offseason, and Marvin Bagley is eligible for a new deal during the summer of 2021.

The Kings have decisions to make on other players as well, but their core four of Hield, Fox, Bogdanovic and Bagley are all due extensions over the next 24 months. Divac will have to balance the salary cap, as well as make decisions on which players will receive the team’s two “designated player” five-year extensions.

Hield and Divac were seen joking around together after practice Friday. If a deal isn’t done soon, those smiles might not last as we draw closer to the extension deadline.

NBA rumors: Kings' Buddy Hield doesn't want 'insult' contract offer


NBA rumors: Kings' Buddy Hield doesn't want 'insult' contract offer

The Kings and Buddy Hield have fewer than two weeks to agree to a contract extension, and the 3-point marksman reportedly has set his price.

Hield would accept an offer worth less than the maximum contract he's eligible to receive so long as it's not an "insult," a league source told The Athletic's Jason Jones on Saturday. If the Kings and Hield don't reach a deal, the 26-year-old could become a restricted free agent, giving Sacramento the chance to match any offer Hield signs with another team.

This week, Hield told The Sacramento Bee that he and the Kings "need to get [an extension] done" and that he wants to be in Sacramento long-term. Hield, who led the Kings with 20.7 points per game and knocked down 42.7 percent of his 3-point shots last season, also told The Bee that "I know what I'm worth."

The Kings have to walk a tightrope with a potential Hield extension, considering De'Aaron Fox is eligible for one in 2020 and Marvin Bagley is eligible for another in 2021. As NBC Sports California's James Ham noted Friday, the Kings have likely earmarked their two five-year "designated player extensions" for the two first-round picks.

In what is considered a weak free-agent class next summer, Hield figures to be one of the best players available. Teams in the modern, space-and-pace NBA will covet his shooting ability, and it stands to reason that he could receive offers closer to what he is seeking next summer -- assuming he is able to replicate the form of his breakout 2018-19 season, of course.

[RELATED: Ariza has lipoma removed from back, out for preseason]

As a four-year college player who's a year older than many thought when he was drafted, Hield's earning potential probably will not be as high when he ultimately is eligible for unrestricted free agency as a 29-year-old. Thus, his contract demands make a lot of sense, even if they don't mesh with the Kings' roster-building timeline.

But will he, or Sacramento, blink first? The next 10 days will be fascinating to watch.

Kings sign Hollis Thompson after waiving Isaiah Pineiro, Eric Mika

Kings sign Hollis Thompson after waiving Isaiah Pineiro, Eric Mika

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings were active on Friday, making a series of announcements and injury updates.

Harry Giles is still out with a sore left knee. The 21-year-old big man has yet to suit up in the preseason, although an MRI on his knee on Sept. 30 revealed no new findings.

Giles is joined on the sidelines by veteran Trevor Ariza, who underwent a procedure to remove a lipoma from his back. Both players are expected to miss the team’s final two preseason games.

Cory Joseph is likely out as well for the remaining two games with a sore right calf, although head coach Luke Walton was hopeful that all three could possibly be cleared when the regular season fires up on Oct. 23.

The team announced Friday morning that they waived Isaiah Pineiro and Eric Mika. Both were on Exhibit 10 contracts and there is hope within the organization that they will play with the Stockton Kings of the G League.

[RELATED: Bogdanovic, Holmes building early chemistry]

After clearing roster down to 18 players, the Kings added veteran Hollis Thompson to a one-year contract. Thompson played for the Kings’ California Classic roster over the summer where he averaged 12.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 26.0 minutes per game.

The Kings open the 2019-20 season on Wednesday, Oct. 23 against the Suns.