Buddy Hield is one of the sweetest-shooting guards in the NBA. He played a big part in Sacramento's resurgence from perennial bottom-feeders to average NBA team last season, spacing the floor by shooting nearly eight threes per game and sinking them at a 42 percent clip.
He's up for an extension this season, and the Kings have already made an offer of $90 million over four years. Hield, safe to say, wasn't a fan, telling reporters after last night's preseason game he viewed the offer as an insult. From Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee:
“I see it like an insult,” Hield said. “I feel like I’m worth more than that. If you say I’m your guy and you want to build around me, I just need you to show it. Actions speak louder than words. If you’re just talking and not showing nothing, I’m not going to respect it. I love playing here. I want to be here. This is my home. I’m trying to buy a house here, but everything is on stall mode because I don’t know if they’ll really commit to me.”
Hield didn't stop there, and said he would have to start considering looking for another home if the deal didn't get done by Monday's deadline.
“I don’t know if things are going to get done,” Hield said. “If it don’t get done, me and my team will look for something else — probably another home. Until then, we’ll see if they really want me here. That’s the goal, to be here. I love Sacramento, but if they don’t want me here, if they don’t feel like I’m part of the core … I want to be here. If they don’t want me here, find somewhere else to be.”
Given the Kings finally have something good going after spending the better part of 15 years floundering in the basement of the Western Conference and the top of the NBA Draft, this is a rather disastrous turn of events. They'll have bills to pay in short order, as Bogdan Bodganovic is also up for an extension and De'Aaron Fox will also be up after this season. Fox, in particular, is a cornerstone for the future, and will surely be watching how the team handles negotiations with a close eye.
Hield will be a restricted free agent after the season, and this kind of low-ball offer is a tactic NBA teams like the Celtics often utilize before the year when it comes to a young player who still has something to prove. Hield is indeed one of the best shooters in the league, and shooting is at a premium in today's NBA, but Sacramento isn't in any rush to commit over $100 million to a guy who tops out as a spot-up shooter, even a very good one. They'll want to see some sign Hield can be a dependable No. 2 option or that he can run the offense when Fox hits the bench.
It remains to be seen if they'll bend under Hield's now-very public pressure.