Kings

Buddy Hield, Kings happy drama over with four-year contract extension

Buddy Hield, Kings happy drama over with four-year contract extension

SACRAMENTO -- Contract negotiations can be brutal. Things are said. Information finds its way into the media. Lines in the sand are drawn.

And then with a flick of the wrist, the contract is signed and all is forgiven.

Buddy Hield is the proud recipient of a new four-year, $86 million contract extension with the Kings. He’ll have an opportunity to make another $20 million in incentives over the course of the contract, which could push the deal over the $100 million mark.

While the talks were contentious at times, the two sides eventually came to an agreement. On Tuesday morning, Hield sat alongside general manager Vlade Divac to express relief that the situation is over.

“Sacramento is home for me,” Hield said. “I think the way I’ve been elevating my career in the past couple of years, I don’t think it would be the same going somewhere else.”

Hield was set to enter the final year of his rookie contract. The 26-year-old had a breakout season with the Kings last season where he led the team in scoring at 20.7 points per game and set a new franchise record with 278 3-pointers.

“I’m so happy that we came to the agreement that both sides are happy and we still are going the way we planned a few years ago to keep our young core,” general manager Vlade Divac said. “Buddy is one of the most important pieces of our core moving forward and (we’re) building something special here in Sacramento.”

Hield is the first of four members of the Kings’ young core to go through the extension process. It was clear over the last week that negotiations were heating up, but there were times where Hield allowed his emotions to spill out into the media.

In the end, Hield and Divac stayed up until 2 a.m. PT hammering out details, with the Kings’ shooting guard pitching his case to the team’s front office.

“I was just trying to plead my case to them, but that’s done with,” Hield said. “I’m here as a King now, so I’m just wanting to win games now and just try to take us to the playoffs, that’s the main focus.”

Divac greeted Hield after practice almost every day over the last week. The two could be seen joking around, but there was a clear tension in the gym.

“Me and Vlade have a great relationship, it goes back to when he first traded for me,” Hield said. “Just seeing the vibe around him and Peja [Stojakovic] and just being around the organization and [owner] Vivek [Ranadivé]. There was nothing directly or insulting to Vlade, that’s our relationship.”

It was clear that while negotiating a contract extension, Divac was still focused on making sure that Hield wasn’t taking anything personally. The business side of basketball can be ruthless. With the season just days away, the two sides wanted to get a deal done without feelings getting hurt.

“I felt pretty good that either way, what we built here is special,” Divac said. “This is something that we had to figure out, but we know where we want to be and we worked together to get there. This is one step forward.”

Acquired as part of the trade that sent All-Star big man DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans, Hield was not even slated to start for the Kings last season. A late summer knee injury to Bogdan Bogdanovic opened a door and Hield took full advantage.

In his third NBA season he blossomed next to point guard De’Aaron Fox. Hield turned himself into a viable starter moving forward and a player worthy of a huge contract extension.

Born in Freeport, on the island of Grand Bahamas, Hield has come a long way in his journey to become an NBA regular. With a tireless work ethic, he successfully turned himself into one of the game’s best perimeter shooters and he still has more room to grow.

“Where I came from, 10 years [ago], who would have thought I would sign an $86 million [contract],” Hield said. “If I would have told a friend that, he would have said you’re talking BS.”

Hield now has financial security moving forward and can return his focus to the court.

“I’m just extremely blessed, I’m happy to be here and happy to get things rolling,” Hield said.

Hield sighted the low-key environment of Sacramento as one of his selling points. He has a young daughter and Sacramento has become his home away from home during the last two-and-a-half seasons.

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The drama is over. It’s time to get back to basketball where the Kings will open the season Wednesday evening in Phoenix against the Suns.

The Kings are looking to snap a 13-year playoff drought and a happy and healthy Buddy Hield could go a long way towards making that a reality.

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Watch Russell Westbrook say 'game over' just before Kings' game-winner

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

That message might need to be relayed to Rockets guard Russell Westbrook, as he assumed he had just won his team the game after driving and finishing over Kings center Richaun Holmes with only one second remaining Monday night in Houston.

Buddy Hield had just hit a miraculous 3-pointer on the previous possession to tie the score, and Westbrook assumed there was nothing the Kings could do to win the game in one second after his layup.

Suffice it to say, the former NBA MVP was incorrect.

Nemanja Bjelica sent the Kings home with another road win, and stunned the Rockets with this DEEP buzzer-beater.

[RELATED: What we learned as Bjelica, Kings stun Westbrook, Rockets]

So much for Clutch City.

Nemanja Bjelica comes up clutch again as Kings take down Rockets

Nemanja Bjelica comes up clutch again as Kings take down Rockets

From the lowest lows to the highest highs. Welcome to the 2019-20 Sacramento Kings season.

It was just another manic Monday in Kingsland. After taking down Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks less than 24 hours earlier, the Kings hung around in Houston and then shocked the Rockets at the buzzer by a final of 119-118.

The road-weary Kings looked beat when Russell Westbrook took the ball right through the defense and scored a go-ahead bucket with one second remaining.

On the ensuing play, Cory Joseph scanned the court and waited patiently for Bogdan Bogdanovic to run through and then Buddy Hield.

Coach Luke Walton used his top scorers as decoys for Nemanja Bjelica, who calmly stepped to the left elbow and drilled a 33-footer as time expired.

“I was one of the options,” Bjelica told Grant Napear and Doug Christie following the win. “Great win for us. What can I say? I took a crazy shot. The ball went in. We deserve this win. And that’s it.”

Overmatched, understaffed and playing on the second night of a back-to-back against two of the best teams in the Western Conference, the Kings somehow swept a two-game set with the Mavericks and Rockets.

“We were very brave tonight,” Bjelica said. “It’s hard to play against this team and we played different and we won.”

Bjelica finished the night with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for Sacramento. He’s not used to chatting with the media in post-game media availability and now he’s been the star of the show for the second straight game.

He wasn’t the only Kings player to put up big numbers. Sacramento tied a franchise record with 20 made 3-pointers, exemplifying a total team effort.

Buddy Hield scored 26 points on 6-of-13 shooting from behind the arc. His three-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining tied the game and set up the wild final sequence of plays.

Harrison Barnes scored 19 points, including a huge 3-pointer that gave Sacramento the lead with just over a minute to play. Richaun Holmes chipped in 16 points and Joseph went 3-for-5 from deep, not to mention playing spectacular defense against James Harden throughout the night.

Walton turned to an eight-man rotation again after finding success with a smaller group in Dallas on Sunday. That means major minutes for the starters, including Joseph, who is beat up.

[RELATED: What we learned as Bjelica, Kings stun Westbrook, Rockets]

The group responded well to the tightened rotation. They’ve now won two in a row after a disappointing overtime loss in San Antonio on Friday. They somehow salvaged a 2-2 road trip and head home at 10-13 to host the Thunder on Wednesday evening.

It wasn’t a perfect game, but the Kings continue to bounce back and they are competing well, despite an early rash of injuries.