A contract of $90 million over four years is what the Sacramento Kings are offering Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield. He rejected that offer, stating he is not pleased with it. He and his agent are looking for a deal around the four-year, $110 million range.
Hield spoke to reporters on Wednesday night in front of his locker about his contract extension negotiation progress and reaching an agreement before Monday, October 21. Monday is the deadline for rookie-scale extensions in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Hield is eligible for a four-year max deal worth up to $130.7 million.
“It’s not always about less than the max, it’s about something that is reasonable where it is not an insult,” Hield said. “It’s about where we respect each other on a level and come to an agreement, where me and my team come to an agreement. That is the biggest thing between me and my team right now – coming to an agreement. My job is to go out there and hoop and play for the max. If every player is not playing or the max, I don’t know why you are in the NBA. Some people will get the max, some people won’t. That’s how it works.”
The Grand Bahama native was drafted with the number six overall pick in 2016 by the New Orleans Pelicans. A couple of players from his draft class have already received maximum contract extensions, projected at five years, $170 million. Those two players are number one overall draft pick Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers and number seven overall pick Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets.
Hield is coming off his best season in which he averaged 20.7 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. That was a vast improvement from the previous season’s stat line of 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists per contest.
He finished fourth in the entire league in made three-pointers last season with 278. Houston Rockets’ guard James Harden (378), Golden State Warriors’ guard Stephen Curry (354) and Los Angeles Clippers’ forward Paul George (292) were the only players to hit more three-pointers than Hield.
The sharpshooter said his love for Sacramento has not wavered, stating that he loves it there.
He said: “I don’t know. I don’t know if things will get done. If it don’t get done then I feel like me and my team will have to look somewhere else – probably another home… I love Sacramento, but if they don’t want me here, they don’t feel like I’m part of the core – I like respect and loyalty and I feel like I’m part of the group that’s been getting the team back to where it needs to be. So, like I said, I want to be here, but if they don’t want me here I’ll find somewhere else to be.”
The former Oklahoma Sooners player finished the season with a high three-point percentage of 42.7. That placed him in an elite club as he was one of four players in the league to average 20-plus points per game and shoot above 40 percent from the three-point line on the season. The other three were Curry, Brooklyn Nets’ guard Kyrie Irving and Warriors’ guard Klay Thompson – all max players.
In 2017, the Kings traded Demarcus Cousins and Omri Casspi to the Pelicans for Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway and the Pelicans 2017 first-round and second-round picks. Hield has been the most steady and healthy player in that deal for the Kings.
Despite the negotiations, Hield said he is ready to hoop it up this season.
“My job is to go out there and kill every night so I can be that max player. I feel like, especially a market like this, Sacramento, you guys have been covering basketball all your life. Name one big free agent who came to Sacramento,” Hield said. “I’m going to hoop – that is why I came to the NBA. It’s a fun job and that’s what I love to do.”
He is ready to put the contract negotiations behind him.
“If they don’t want to do it then after that I will look somewhere else to go in the offseason or this season – I don’t know. It is something that they will have to plan and I don’t know what plans they have with me,” Hield said.
If the shooting guard and the Kings do not come to an agreement he will be a restricted free agent next summer. The Kings will control his rights and possess the ability to match an offer another team offers him. It is unlikely that the Kings will let Hield leave the Kings.
After finishing a with a dismal 23-55 win-loss record in the 2017-2018 season for 12th in the western conference, they improved by 12 wins last season and ended 39-43 and ninth in the Western Conference of the NBA, one spot from the eighth-seed.
Hield had a busy offseason. He put on a camp at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium for the top 24 junior basketball players in The Bahamas. He also held a camp in Sacramento, California, in June. Hield, who is always true to his roots, also held a camp in his hometown of Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, in August.
In early September, right after the passing of category five storm Hurricane Dorian, devastating Grand Bahama and Abaco, Hield donated $100,000 toward the relief efforts. In addition, he set up a GoFundMe account dedicated toward hurricane relief. That fund raised over $200,000.
Between now and the deadline on Monday, the Kings and Hield are expected to agree on a figure. Whatever decision he makes he said he knows that his mom and his family will support him.
The Kings kickoff their 2019-2020 campaign on Wednesday October 23, taking the Phoenix Suns where the 26-year-old will go up against fellow Bahamian DeAndre Ayton.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism