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Kings' Buddy Hield continues to speak mind on contract extension talks
SACRAMENTO -- The Buddy Hield situation is reaching a fever pitch.
Hield wants to sign a contract extension with the Kings before the Oct. 21 deadline, but the sides appear miles apart on what that extension might look like.
While the Kings are staying quiet, Hield is using every opportunity to plead his case.
"I'm disappointed, but I don't give a s--t," Hield told NBC Sports California after the Kings' win over Melbourne United on Wednesday night.
Hield has a dollar figure in mind, as does the team. According to an earlier report, there is roughly a $20 million difference between the sides.
"I just know where my value is at, and I'm not going to budge for nobody," Hield said. "I work hard. I come in here every day and I do my job."
When pressed on what it would mean if a deal doesn't get done before the deadline, Hield tried to keep calm. He also made it clear that all of his options are open.
"It's not frustrated, I'm just speaking to my heart," Hield said. "I feel like people get mixed up with being frustrated. I'm just speaking what I believe and what I think. Like I said, there are 30 teams out there. If they don't want to give me what I think I deserve, some team will give it to me. They'll have the ability to match, or they'll have the ability to let me go."
Heild is a restricted free agent after the season, which gives the Kings a powerful position at the bargaining table. If they choose to extend a $6.5 million qualifying offer to the third-year pro, they can match any offer he receives on the open market.
The 26-year-old has the option of playing for the qualifying offer next season and entering the summer of 2021 as an unrestricted free agent, but that would be extremely risky.
Hield has been clear about his desire to stay in Sacramento, but at the same time, he feels like he is part of the core that has helped revitalize the franchise over the last year.
"The goal is to be here," Hield told a larger contingent of media. "I love Sacramento, but if they don't want me here, if 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 getting the team back to where it needs to be."
At the moment, Hield appears insulted by the number the Kings have offered so far. Whether they can come to some sort of common ground is unknown, but because of the timing of the deadline, this situation has the potential to cause strife behind the scenes just days before the start of the regular season.
"Name one big free agent that came to Sacramento," Hield said in the scrum. "I've been here three years trying to grow the program, grow the organization, and I feel like I could be rewarded close to that. But that's just me. That's my gut feeling."
Hield's is the first of four major extensions the Kings have to work out over the next 24 months, including Bogdan Bogdanovic, De'Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley.
While Hield is sympathetic to the situation the Kings are in, he also can't concern himself with that. He knows what he is worth, and he is pressing the team hard to make that happen.
"It's all about value and where they see me as a player, and of course, if another young player comes up and they give them what they want, it shows how much they value me," Hield told NBC Sports California.
Hield is confident he can push the stress of the situation out of his mind and focus on the task at hand when the regular season begins next week, whether he has a new deal or not after the deadline passes.[RELATED: What we learned in Kings' big win in preseason finale]
"My job is to go out there and ball each and every night," Hield said. "Whatever jersey I have on, I'll represent it to the fullest, that's what I do. I came from nothing. I know what it's like not to have something."
Hield led the Kings in scoring last season at 20.7 points per game, and he is considered a major part of what the team is building.
Unfortunately for Hield and the Kings, this is the business side of the game, and it can be treacherous. The clock is ticking and getting noisier by the day.
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