Hield, Kings come to terms on new deal

Bahamian Chavano “Buddy” Hield could very well get the 100-plus million dollars that he was asking for — albeit with incentives.

Hield and the Sacramento Kings came to terms on a four-year, $94 million contract extension yesterday, according to sources in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The deal includes $86 million in guaranteed money, $8 million in bonuses and another $12 million in incentives that could elevate the deal to $106 million over its term.

Hield said from the beginning that he wasn’t seeking a max deal, and one close to that would have been sufficient. He said he just wanted to feel respected and appreciated, and was asking for around $110 million over four years, which is considered ideal for impact players of his caliber. The Kings were initially offering him a four-year, $90 million deal. Now, if Hield performs up to standard and meets targets, he will get the money that he desires.

The 26-year-old Bahamian guard from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, said his number one priority was to stay in Sacramento, but he had no issues testing the free agent waters elsewhere if the need arose. Fellow members of his draft class, Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets, signed huge deals this summer — each receiving max contracts. They both signed five-year, $170 million contracts. Simmons was the number one overall pick of the 76ers, Hield was taken sixth by the New Orleans Pelicans and later sent to the Kings in a trade that included DeMarcus Cousins as the centerpiece, and Murray was selected seventh overall by the Nuggets.

Agent Brandon Rosenthal of Landmark Sports and Kings’ General Manager Vlade Divac finalized details on the rookie-scale extension late Sunday night in Sacramento, just hours ahead of the 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Monday deadline for players from the draft class of 2016 to complete a deal.

This deal allows the Kings and Hield to avoid restricted free agency next summer.

However, the Kings will find themselves in a similar situation with emerging point guard De’Aaron Fox next summer and promising frontcourt player Marvin Bagley the year after that. They also have Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanović who could come at a much cheaper price than Hield but will likely test the free agent market next summer.

Hield and Fox form one of the most dynamic young backcourts in the league and the Bahamian sharp shooter has always been a favorite of Kings’ owner Vivek Ranadive, even when he was with the Pelicans.

After years of futility, Hield helped the Kings get back to a level of respectability last season. They were competitive throughout, and Hield was one of their most dynamic and productive players. The Kings were in contention for a playoff spot for much of the season, and ended up missing the playoffs by nine games, finishing ninth in a tough Western Conference of the NBA.

Hield is coming off his best season in his three years in the league, averaging 20.7 points, five rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He finished second to Golden State’s Stephen Curry in three-point accuracy among players with at least 500 attempts (42.7) and was fourth in three-pointers made (278). Hield set a Kings’ franchise record for three-pointers made in a season. He is the fourth-most prolific single-season three-point shooter ever, and is in the top 10 all-time performances in three-pointers made in a season. He was one of only four players to average more than 20 points and shoot above 40 percent from the three-point line last season. Additionally, no player in NBA history has converted on more three-pointers in his first three seasons (602) than Hield.

The Kings tip off their 2019-2020 campaign on Wednesday, when Hield will go up against fellow Bahamian DeAndre Ayton and the Phoenix Suns at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. The season officially gets underway tonight, with a double-header on TNT (Turner Network Television) – the defending champions Toronto Raptors hosting the Pelicans at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, and the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Los Angeles Clippers.

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Hield and the Kings to face Ayton and the Suns on Wednesday

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Sheldon Longley

Sheldon Longley joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2001 as a sports reporter. He was promoted to sports editor in 2008. Sheldon has an extensive background in sports reporting. He covered three Olympic Games and three world championships, along with multiple smaller regional and local games.

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