Today is deadline day for ‘Buddy’ and the Kings

Bahamian guard with the Sacramento Kings Chavano “Buddy” Hield could get some answers today as it relates to his contract situation and looming free agency.

Hield was offered a four-year, $90 million deal with the Kings. He is asking for around $110 million over that same time frame, and the deadline is today for rookie-scale extensions in the NBA. Most expect a settlement to be reached, but Hield, who had a breakout third season a year ago, has reportedly said that he will not be disrespected and will move on if the need arises.

After throwing down an off-the-backboard alley-oop from De’Aaron Fox during the club’s fan fest on Saturday, Hield ran past Kings’ General Manager Vlade Divac and made money signs with his hands. Divac laughed, and the two shared a light moment, but it’s quite clear that the Bahamian sharp shooter is looking to be paid what he believes he is worth. As mentioned, the deadline for upcoming fourth-year players to extend their rookie-scale contracts is today. 

 “I don’t know if things are going to get done,” Hield was quoted as saying to CBS Sports. “If it don’t get done, me and my team will look somewhere else, probably look for another home. Until then, we’ll see what happens here. That’s the goal, to be here, and 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.”

After years of futility, Hield helped to get the Kings back to a level of respect and competitive play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) last season. They 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 which he averaged 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.

The 26-year-old Bahamian guard from Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama, said he loves being in Sacramento and wants to remain there, but will not divert away from his desires, especially after watching members of his draft class sign max contracts this past summer. Ben Simmons, of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jamal Murray, of the Denver Nuggets, both inked 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.

“It’s not always about less than the max, it’s about something that is reasonable where it is not an insult,” Hield was quoted as saying. “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 for 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.”

Hield has said that he is ready to “find another home” if the Kings don’t improve their offer.

The Kings does have an insurance policy in Serbian shooting guard Bogdan Bogdanović who will likely come at a much cheaper price than Hield, but Hield is four years younger and is a better shooter. The Kings also have to worry about emerging star point guard De’Aaron Fox who will find himself in Hield’s situation next year, and second-year player Marvin Bagley who isn’t far from contract talks himself. Eventually, the Kings will have to make decisions about who they can and who they can’t afford to keep.

Hield, undoubtedly, is trying to protect his future and secure as much as possible, given the resurgent season he had with the Kings in 2018-19.

The Kings tip off their 2019-2020 campaign on Wednesday of this week, 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 on Tuesday, with a double-header on TNT (Turner Network Television) – the defending champions Toronto Raptors hosting the New Orleans Pelicans at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada, and the Los Angeles Lakers playing the Los Angeles Clippers.

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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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