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"If It Doesn't Happen, Then Things Can Go The Other Way" - Buddy Hield Wants His New Extension Immediately...Or Else

Cleveland Cavaliers v Sacramento Kings

(Sacramento Bee) – Kings guard Buddy Hield is ready to make a long-term commitment to Sacramento. Now he wants the organization to make the same commitment to him.

Hield expressed some frustration while opening up about his contract talks with the team in an interview with The Sacramento Bee late Thursday night following a 105-88 preseason victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Kings have until Oct. 21 to sign Hield to a rookie-scale extension or he will become a restricted free agent next summer.

“We need to get that done,” Hield told The Bee. “I want to get that done, for sure. If it doesn’t get done, things could go the other way. This is where I want to be, so it would be good for me to be here in Sacramento. If I’m their guy, I think they should make it happen already. I want to build a future here. I want to be here, but we have to see something. Something’s gotta come to the table. We have a week and a half to see what that brings, but I want to be here.”

“As a player, you want to have that trust that the franchise has your back and we’re just waiting for them to make a move and come to an agreement,” Hield said. “They’re talking, but nothing is moving yet. Nothing has moved. I’m ready to make things happen, man. I want to make Sacramento my home. I’m ready to get this s— done. I want to be here and if it doesn’t happen, then things can go the other way.”

Much like Jaylen Brown who is also a member of this 2016 Draft class who is currently without a rookie extension, the Buddy Hield situation is something to keep an eye on as we approach this summer. As a reminder, only Ben Simmons, Jamal Murray, and Caris LeVert have received extensions from that 2016 class. Murray and Simmons got full max deals at $170M while LeVert signed a more team friendly deal for $53M. What that’s done is make the market very tough to gauge for guys like Jaylen and Hield, two good young pieces that are looking for something closer to Simmons/Murray while their respective teams probably are willing to let the season play out before they start talking about an extension.

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Now unlike Jaylen who is just 22 years old, Hield’s situation is a little different. For starters, he’s already 27. But unlike Jaylen he’s a much more polished offensive player and most definitely a better shooter. Since he got to SAC Hield has found new life and is definitely a legit two guard option in today’s NBA

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Unfortunately for Hield, the Kings have all the leverage and it may actually be the better business decision to wait. For starters, you also have to consider Bogdan Bogdanovic’s contract situation as well, as he’s also 27 and eligible for a 5/51M extension. If Hield were to get the max like I’m sure he wants, that could limit their ability to resign Bogdanovic, another legit shooter. Then you have to also factor in extensions for De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley in a few years. Remember, with both of these guys if they don’t reach an extension this month they become RFA and the Kings can always match whatever the market dictates if they choose. Going that route may also help them in free agency as Hield would have a lower cap hold allowing for more cap space this summer rather than giving him an extension now and eating into that available space. You can always go over the cap to keep your guys in RFA if you want, so you can understand why Vlade has so far bene hesitant to extend Hield.

The one thing working in Hield’s favor is similar to what’s going to help Jaylen. The 2020 free agent class is big time dogshit. Teams are going to have big money to throw at RFA’s and in most cases it’s going to be an overpayment. If SAC doesn’t want to give him a max extension now, they may ultimately pay the price once Hield hits the open market. He may not be the caliber defender Jaylen is, but he’s probably going to be the best shooter to hit the market and as we know shooters get paid. If you’re the Kings and you’re hopeful that this could be a great year for you, you also have to consider how an unhappy Hield may impact that. It wouldn’t be the first time a player unhappy about his contract situation impacted the entire locker room. Being such a young team, that’s a factor.

In the end, I’m pretty sure the Kings will end up paying Hield, but it’ll probably come this summer. It’s just better business to remain as flexible as possible heading into next summer. Hield may not like that, but the Kings are actually a team that’s starting to make smart front office decisions and Vlade doesn’t seem like a guy who is scared of a little contract standoff. Moving forward though, the Kings definitely need a guy who can do this