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?
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.
Buddy and Vlade talking after practice. pic.twitter.com/5kBTUIhkHM— James Ham (@James_HamNBCS) October 11, 2019
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.