Kings

What Lakers' Anthony Davis trade could mean for Kings' offseason plans

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What Lakers' Anthony Davis trade could mean for Kings' offseason plans

The wild, wild West.

With the strong smell of the Warriors’ blood fresh in the water, at least one Western Conference team is shooting its shot, and that definitely will impact the Sacramento Kings.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Saturday that the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to acquire star center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans for a package of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram and three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft.

It’s an interesting trade for Davis, who has missed plenty of time over his NBA career because of myriad physical ailments. The six-time All-Star played in just 55 games this past season, although it was more a precautionary move by the Pelicans after Davis’ representation made a trade demand prior to the All-Star break.

Ball has yet to establish himself in the league after being selected No. 2 overall by the Lakers in the 2017 NBA Draft. He’s missed 63 total games in two seasons, and his shooting woes are monumental.

Hart is a solid rotational player with upside, but he’ll likely be lost in a crowded New Orleans backcourt with Ball, Ingram and veteran Jrue Holiday. His addition in the deal also puts Elfrid Payton’s return in question after his solid season for the Pelicans.

Ingram is a wild card. He had a breakout 2018-19 season, posting 18.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game for the Lakers. But a late-season blood clot cost him time and is a concern moving forward.

So, what does this all mean for the Kings, their standing in the West and what they should do this offseason?

The Pelicans likely won’t be an immediate threat, since they’re starting over with a young core, which should include Zion Williamson, the expected No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. They’ve lost a star, but they could quickly reload, especially if they can move the No. 4 pick acquired in the Davis deal for another major piece.

The Lakers, meanwhile, are swinging for the fences, and at 34, LeBron James is getting long in the tooth by NBA standards. By adding Davis while retaining Kyle Kuzma, the Lakers put themselves back on the map and considerably changed their age arc.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka also has somewhere between $27 million and 32 million to play with in free agency, which is a good thing because his roster is filled with holes.

So, expect LA to add substantial pieces around James, Davis and Kuzma. Then the Lakers should come into the season as championship contenders and a tough matchup for the Kings.

The Pacific Division just became a lot more difficult, which isn’t good news for Sacramento, although Golden State likely will slip from its perch with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both entering free agency and having just suffered major injuries.

The Kings, however, have a young core in place and $38 million to spend in free agency. That gives them an opportunity to greatly improve their roster with the right moves this summer, but their rise in the standings still will depend on the growth of players such as De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley.

This group needs more help, and this isn’t an offseason for the Kings to sit on their hands. Even before the Davis trade, general manager Vlade Divac hoped to upgrade at center, with a decision to make on Willie Cauley-Stein.

Now that the Kings will play against the Lakers and their new star big four times per season, whomever mans the position for Sacramento will become even more important. The team has been linked to Nikola Vucevic, DeAndre Jordan and Dewayne Dedmon in free agency rumor mills, and they could be a better fit against Davis.

[RELATED: Kings troll Warriors over Finals loss]

The Kings have high hopes for next season, including playoff aspirations. They can’t completely base their summer plans off what happens with the Warriors, Lakers or any other team, but it’s clear that one team in the Pacific just became a major player, and Sacramento needs to do the same with player development and smart free-agent signings.

NBA rumors: Buddy Hield, Kings $20M apart in contract extension talks

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NBA rumors: Buddy Hield, Kings $20M apart in contract extension talks

The Kings and shooting guard Buddy Hield reportedly aren't seeing eye-to-eye right now.

Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Wednesday that Hield and the Kings are $20 million apart in talks of a contract extension. According to Haynes, the Kings have made a substantial four-year, $90 million contract extension offer to Hield. But Sacramento’s sharpshooter reportedly is looking for something closer to a four-year, $110 million extension from the team.

The reported divide between the two sides is large, although not insurmountable. If the figures are correct, Sacramento basically is offering $5 million per year less than what Hield is asking for. There might be room for some common ground in between these two figures.

The two sides have until Oct. 21 to come to an agreement on an extension. If they don’t, Hield will enter next summer as a restricted free agent, if the team extends a $6.5 million qualifying offer.

Once the qualifying offer is extended, the Kings would have the right to match any offer for the 26-year-old guard.

In his third NBA season, Hield led the Kings in scoring at 20.7 points per game. He also established a new NBA record for most 3-pointers through three seasons, hitting a team-record 278 triples last season to push his career total to 602.

Hield is the first of four members of the team's young core to come up for extension over the next 24 months. Bogdan Bogdanovic is eligible for a four-year, $51.7 million extension, but he has until June 30 to either accept the deal or head into the summer as a restricted free agent.

De’Aaron Fox also becomes eligible for an extension next summer, and the Kings face the same fate with Marvin Bagley in the summer of 2021.

Fox was clear last week that he would love to see the Kings keep Hield and the rest of the team's young players together. Hield also has made it known he would like to stay in Sacramento.

Kings general manager Vlade Divac and his staff have done a quality job of keeping salary cap flexibility over the last few seasons with an eye on this moment. The only contract they have that is guaranteed beyond 2021 is forward Harrison Barnes, who the team inked to a new four-year, $85 million declining value deal in July.

Hield and the Kings have five days to work something out. If not, they have to table the discussion until after the season.

Kings offer Bogdan Bogdanovic four-year, $51.4M max contract extension

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Kings offer Bogdan Bogdanovic four-year, $51.4M max contract extension

The Kings have a big decision to make when it comes to Bogdan Bogdanovic. Now, he has a big decision to make, too. 

Bogdanovic told The Sacramento Bee's Jason Anderson that the Kings offered him a four-year, $51.4 max contract extension. It sounds like the 27-year-old is in no hurry to put pen to paper, though. 

“I would like to stay,” Bogdanovic said to the Bee. “Everyone knows that I love Sacramento. Everyone loves to be here. It’s a great group of guys. I’m happy right now and I was happy all these years, but I don’t want to rush anything.”

Bogdanovic knows he could receive more lucrative offers from the Kings -- as well as other teams -- as a restricted free agent next summer.

The combo guard/small forward is seen as a key part of the Kings' hopes to end their playoff drought. He averaged 14.1 points, 3.8 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game last season, his second in the NBA. 

[RELATED: Bogi ready to make impact on Kings after World Cup success]

After a solid sophomore season in Sacramento, Bogdanovic is coming off a big-time showing for Serbia in the FIBA World Cup. He averaged 22.9 points, 4.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 28 minutes per game for his native country. 

The Kings certainly hope he can bring the same stardom to Sacramento. If that's the case, he likely is in line for a hefty payday.