The Sacramento Kings know that they have a gem in Buddy Hield, the sixth overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. They acquired the 26-year-old guard from the New Orleans Pelicans back in February and now they are working to keep him for years to come.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Kings’ general manager Vlade Divac hopes to re-sign Hield who is entering the final year of his contract. They have about six weeks to sign him to a rookie-scale contract extension or risk seeing him become a restricted free agent next summer. Details were kept under wraps and all Divac said was that the two sides are already talking.
“We are … every day is working and Buddy’s a big part of this team, and we’ll figure something out down the road,” Divac said. “We’re working on it and we’ll figure out something. Buddy is (a) very important piece to this franchise.”
Hield has blossomed into a promising cager since moving to Sacramento. He was a main figure in that DeMarcus Cousins trade although many already knew of his potential. If things fall into place, Hield could make up to $158.1 million over five years if he gets that rookie-scale extension. The deadline for that deal is on October 21, a day before the 2019-20 NBA season fires off.
If both sides fail to agree, the Kings will have to wait until next summer to negotiate with Hield. Sacramento could extend a $6.48-million qualifying offer to make Hield a restricted free agent. It also gives them the right to many offers coming from other teams.
One thing that could tempt teams to pluck Hield from Sacramento is his three-point shooting. He made the record books when he became the first player to make 600 3-pointers in three NBA seasons. This allowed him to surpass players likes of Damian Lillard, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson, making him a curious choice for teams in need of additional shooters.
The Kings are hoping to improve on their 2018-19 NBA playoff appearance and they do have the personnel to achieve such. All of that may rest on the shoulders of first-year head coach Luke Walton. Ironically, he just made a $10,000 donation to Hield’s Hurricane Dorian relief operation, TMZ Sports reported. It was the first big contribution since the native of the Bahamas launched the GoFundMe campaign to help relief efforts in his home country.