Buddy Hield

Kings' Buddy Hield, Vlade Divac share jovial moment amidst contract dispute

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AP

Kings' Buddy Hield, Vlade Divac share jovial moment amidst contract dispute

SACRAMENTO -- Up until a week ago, there was nothing but positive vibes coming out of Sacramento. On a mission to snap their 13-year playoff drought, the Kings were focused on the task at hand.

That good feeling has been replaced by what has become a nasty contract extension fight for shooting guard Buddy Hield that has spilled into the media, almost on a daily basis.

While the fight behind the scenes may be contentious, at least from one side, there is still hope that something can get done before Monday’s deadline.

Following practice on Friday, Hield and general manager Vlade Divac were seen together chatting and laughing while cameras rolled.

It could mean nothing. It could mean everything. All is fair in love and war...and contract negotiations.

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

The gap between the two sides is reportedly $20 million over the life of the contract. That’s a substantial difference in opinion when it comes to the contractual worth of a player.

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Source: Kings don't have 'remorse' over Harrison Barnes contract

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USATSI

Source: Kings don't have 'remorse' over Harrison Barnes contract

The Kings currently face a predicament that often befalls NBA teams possessing a litany of young talent after many years of consecutive lottery picks.

However, the Kings made a significant investment this summer in a player who was not one of those lottery picks when they extended former Warriors and Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes.

Sacramento ponied up $85 million over four years to lock Barnes up this offseason, but now the team reportedly is lamenting the decision with younger stars like Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox seeking their own financial windfall.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Friday that the Kings have already “expressed some remorse” on the Barnes contract, citing league sources. 

However, a league source told NBC Sports California's James Ham that the Kings have no such feelings about the contract they gave the young wing this summer.

This feels like a case of an agent trying to create leverage over a team.

Hield has been vocal in recent weeks about his desire for a lucrative extension with Sacramento, but he and the Kings’ management reportedly remain millions of dollars apart.

The 26-year-old Hield certainly has played well enough to earn a significant payday, finishing last season shooting almost 43 percent from beyond the arc despite taking almost eight three-pointers a game.

General manager Vlade Divac has his hands full with Fox, Hield, Marvin Bagley, and Bogdan Bogdanovic all looking at a hefty pay raise when it’s all said and done. It's a young core the Kings no doubt want to keep together, with Barnes and Hield being a big part of their future plans.

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

But there is little to no chance the Kings can afford to keep all of their talented young core together, and with Barnes locked up on a guaranteed deal for the next four seasons, look for either Hield or Bogdanovic to be on the outside looking in with regards to a new contract in Sacramento.

Damian Lillard isn't fan of how Buddy Hield is negotiating Kings contract

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AP

Damian Lillard isn't fan of how Buddy Hield is negotiating Kings contract

Buddy Hield wants to get the bag, but is he going about it the wrong way?

Damian Lillard seems to think so.

Hield desires a four-year contract worth $110 million, a number the young shooting guard and the Kings reportedly are $20 million apart on. The Oklahoma product has been making life tough on general manager Vlade Divac and owner Vivek Ranadive, telling the media he would go to another team if he isn't shown the loyalty he believes he has earned in helping grow the young Kings team since he arrived three seasons ago.

Hield is playing hardball with the Kings, hoping they see a bright future with a core that includes himself, De'Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, Harrison Barnes and Bogdan Bogdanovic.

Lillard, who signed a massive four-year, $196 million contract extension with the Trail Blazers this summer, hopes Hield gets what he is worth, but doesn't think he's going about it the right way. 

Lillard, who arguably is the most popular Blazer in history, knows a thing or two about playing the contract game the right way. For years, it was postured that Lillard might leave the Pacific Northwest for the lights of Los Angeles or go back home to the Bay Area. Every time the possibility of him leaving Portland was broached, Lillard reiterated his love for the Blazers and desire to finish his career there.

He was rewarded handsomely for it.

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

This isn't to say the Kings and Hield won't eventually come to an agreement, but Hield's rough approach might ruffle some feathers and cause the Kings to be less likely to give him what he wants.