The Kings and Buddy Hield have fewer than two weeks to agree to a contract extension, and the 3-point marksman reportedly has set his price.
Hield would accept an offer worth less than the maximum contract he's eligible to receive so long as it's not an "insult," a league source told The Athletic's Jason Jones on Saturday. If the Kings and Hield don't reach a deal, the 26-year-old could become a restricted free agent, giving Sacramento the chance to match any offer Hield signs with another team.
This week, Hield told The Sacramento Bee that he and the Kings "need to get [an extension] done" and that he wants to be in Sacramento long-term. Hield, who led the Kings with 20.7 points per game and knocked down 42.7 percent of his 3-point shots last season, also told The Bee that "I know what I'm worth."
The Kings have to walk a tightrope with a potential Hield extension, considering De'Aaron Fox is eligible for one in 2020 and Marvin Bagley is eligible for another in 2021. As NBC Sports California's James Ham noted Friday, the Kings have likely earmarked their two five-year "designated player extensions" for the two first-round picks.
In what is considered a weak free-agent class next summer, Hield figures to be one of the best players available. Teams in the modern, space-and-pace NBA will covet his shooting ability, and it stands to reason that he could receive offers closer to what he is seeking next summer -- assuming he is able to replicate the form of his breakout 2018-19 season, of course.
As a four-year college player who's a year older than many thought when he was drafted, Hield's earning potential probably will not be as high when he ultimately is eligible for unrestricted free agency as a 29-year-old. Thus, his contract demands make a lot of sense, even if they don't mesh with the Kings' roster-building timeline.
But will he, or Sacramento, blink first? The next 10 days will be fascinating to watch.