How Kings' Luke Walton could use Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield this year


How Kings' Luke Walton could use Bogdan Bogdanovic, Buddy Hield this year

Two players vying for contract extensions. Two players fighting for minutes. Two players attached at the hip.

Kings shooting guards guards Buddy Hield and Bogdan Bogdanovic have a friendly rivalry on the court and a close friendship off of it. They play completely different styles, but they also compliment each other well.

New coach Luke Walton has major decisions to make at multiple positions this season. The Kings’ depth is a good problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Hield had a breakout season last year, posting a team-high 20.7 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists while shooting 42.7 percent from behind the arc. He made an astounding 278 3-pointers, giving him an NBA-record 602 triples through the first three years of his career.

The 26-year-old played 31.9 minutes per game, up from the 25.3 minutes he played the prior season. Hield became not only a bonafide starter, but a lethal weapon in the Kings’ offense.

Slowed by a late offseason knee surgery, Bogdanovic missed 11 of the Kings' first 12 games while rehabbing. He had some high points and some struggles during the long season, but Bogdanovic still managed to average 14.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 36 percent from distance.

Hield is the shooter. Bogdanovic is the playmaker. They complement each other on the court, but they are also in a fight for minutes this season with so many other alternatives in the rotation.

The Other Guys

Hield and Bogdanovic are the two main shooting guards, but Walton has other options as well. De’Aaron Fox and Cory Joseph can both move over from point guard and steal minutes, while rookie Justin James is an interesting player as well.

There is a chance that Walton steals a handful of minutes in a dual point-guard set with both Fox and Joseph on the court together. It’s possible that move would come at the expense of Hield and Bogdanovic, but they will likely spill over at small forward as well.

James is lost in a numbers game. He might play some spot duty in blowouts, but it’s more likely he spends the majority of the season either on the bench or sitting in Stockton with the team’s G League affiliate.

Stealing minutes at the three

It’s not a perfect solution, but Walton is going to need to find an additional 12 to 14 minutes for his shooting-guard tandem. Both players can move over to the wing in a three-guard small ball lineup, although it’s not a perfect solution. Bogdanovic spent more time at small forward last year than Hield, including 17 starts.

There is also the issue that Harrison Barnes is a big-minute player at the three, and Trevor Ariza can be a contributor in his 15th NBA season. Barnes will take minutes at power forward, although it’s a crowded field with five bigs vying for time.

Walton can only steal minutes from so many positions before he runs out of time. Pairing the rotation down to nine or 10 players is going to be very difficult.

[RELATED: Can Bogdanovic avoid FIBA hangover ahead of Kings camp?]


In a perfect world, Hield would play 32 to 34 minutes a game for the Kings as either their first or second option on offense. In addition, Bogdanovic would also play 27 to 30 minutes per game as the team’s super-sub.

This might be the plan of attack coming into the season, but there are so many mouths to feed on this roster.

Each of these players brings an intangible that can’t be replaced. Hield is an elite NBA shooter and a very good scorer. Bogdanovic is one of the team’s best playmakers and a solid scorer in his own right.

Walton will quickly realize that Hield and Bogdanovic are two of the team’s top five players. He’ll make adjustments to get them time, especially down the stretch of games when they both flourish.

Buddy Hield jokes about Kings contract situation with GM Vlade Divac


Buddy Hield jokes about Kings contract situation with GM Vlade Divac

Buddy Hield has made it crystal clear. He wants to get paid. He's set his value and he doesn't want to budge. The Kings appear to have set their limits and don't want to budge either.

The shooting guard's contract situation has added a bit of tension to what was supposed to be an exciting Kings season.

But despite the gap in salary numbers, Hield and general manager Vlade Divac have been all smiles when the cameras are rolling. The latest moment between the two came during Kings Fan Fest at Golden 1 Center on Saturday.

During a light scrimmage, Hield threw down a dunk off a backboard pass from point guard De'Aaron Fox. Hield then turned to Divac, who was sitting courtside and made a money gesture with his hands.

A few moments later, the two were embracing and laughing about the whole situation.

A day earlier, Hield and Divac were seen talking cordially after Kings practice.

All of this started last week when Hield aired his grievances with the media following a Kings preseason game. Hield reportedly is looking for a four-year contract worth $110 million, while the Kings would prefer to give him around $90 million.

The two sides have until Monday to work out a contract extension. If they don't, the 26-year-old would become a restricted free agent next summer, assuming the Kings make the $6.5 million qualifying offer to him.

[RELATED: Kings reveal court to honor Sacramento move]

The comments from Hield to the media make it sound like there's bad blood between the two sides.

But based on the video coming out of Sacramento the last two days, things might not be as bad as we think.

Kings reveal special court to honor 35th anniversary of Sacramento move

Ali Thanawalla

Kings reveal special court to honor 35th anniversary of Sacramento move

It was 35 years ago when the Kings relocated from Kansas City to Sacramento. On Friday night, they honored the move by unveiling their "Classic Court."

The fan-favorite classic royal blue and red uniforms which the team sported from 1991 to 1994 while on the road are the color schemes for the floor. The court will also sport the original logo that was first used when the Kings moved to Sacramento in 1985.

"The new court is a near-identical recreation of the 1993-94 court used during the Mitch Richmond era," the Kings said in a press release. "The words “Sacramento Proud” runs along the sideline as a salute to the city and the fans the team plays for every night."

[RELATED: Kings on mend less than week before opening night]

This special court will be featured in 17 select games (the blue uniforms on the schedule) during the upcoming anniversary season and will be paired with the Classic and City Edition uniforms.