New reports suggest that the Sacramento Kings are currently stalemated with their star shooting guard, Buddy Hield, who apparently turned down a lucrative rookie-scale contract extension with just a few days remaining before the October 21 deadline for signing such deals.
As reported on Wednesday by Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes, Hield and the Kings currently seem to be “operating under a more strenuous discourse” than some other teams and their picks from the 2016 draft class. According to Haynes, Sacramento offered Hield an extension worth $90 million over four years, though this reportedly wasn’t good enough for the 26-year-old guard and his agent, Brandon Rosenthal, who are hoping for a contract valued at “closer” to $110 million.
As it stands, there might not be much of a chance Hield and the Kings will come to terms on a contract extension before next week’s deadline. Haynes cited sources familiar with the situation, who claim that the former Oklahoma Sooners star is “prepared to bet on himself” and allow himself to enter restricted free agency in the summer of 2020, should Sacramento fail to make an acceptable deal. This reportedly may also be because the 2020 free-agent class is expected to be lacking in star power compared to those from previous summers.
The rumors of Hield’s refusal to accept the Kings’ extension offer come just a few days after he spoke to The Sacramento Bee, expressing a desire to remain with the team but hinting at some frustration at the lack of progress in his discussions with the organization.
“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. 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.”
Buddy Hield still choosing to remain vocal about his desire for a contract extension tonight following the preseason finale. Said he'll still ball if a deal cannot be reached by Monday 10/21. pic.twitter.com/nabC1zutf5— Sean Cunningham (@SeanCunningham) October 17, 2019
The sixth overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Hield enjoyed his best statistical season in 2018-19, as he played for a Kings team that finished ninth in the Western Conference with a 39-43 record. According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Hield averaged 20.7 points, five rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 82 regular-season games last year, also posting shooting percentages of 45.8 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from beyond the arc.
Hield is far from the only 2016 draftee who might ultimately reject all extension offers and enter restricted free agency next summer. Boston Celtics wingman Jaylen Brown — who was picked three spots ahead of Hield in 2016 — is reportedly “pursuing a bigger offer” after the team recently offered him a four-year, $80 million extension.