Buddy Hield

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Report: Pelicans, Brandon Ingram never seriously discussed contract extension

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Of the nine 2016 first-round picks who averaged over 10 points per game during their first three seasons, eight received a rookie-scale contract extension last offseason – Ben Simmons, Buddy Hield, Jamal Murray, Taurean Prince, Jaylen Brown, Caris LeVert, Domantas Sabonis and Pascal Siakam.

The lone exception: Brandon Ingram.

Ingram is off to an excellent start, averaging 26 points per game. He’s not just posting empty numbers for the Zion Williamson-less Pelicans. Ingram looks improved in nearly every facet of his game.

Does New Orleans regret not extending him before last month’s deadline?

Brian Windhorst on ESPN:

From what I’ve been told, there wasn’t even really significant talks about it. I think both sides realized now is not the time to make a deal because of that blood clot.

That blood clot, which sidelined Ingram the end of last season with the Lakers, is so concerning. A recurrence could end Ingram’s career. It’s hard to agree to an extension with that looming over negotiations.

So, maybe the Pelicans could’ve extended him for less money. But that would’ve been taking a huge risk.

Now, though they’ll likely have to pay up to keep him.

If Ingram stays healthy and keeps playing like this, he could draw max offer sheets this summer. He’ll stand out in a weak free-agent class.

Expect New Orleans to match. Even before taking the job, Pelicans lead executive David Griffin has consistently praised Ingram. Now, Ingram is doing more to justify the hype.

The Pelicans are probably happier to have a max-level(-ish) player on their roster rather than kicking themselves for not securing him for cheaper.

Kings decline fourth-year options for Harry Giles, Caleb Swanigan

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The Kings appeared committed to Harry Giles, who enrolled at Duke just a few years ago as a potential No. 1 pick.

Knee issues limited him in college, and Sacramento got him with the No. 20 pick in the 2017 NBA draft. The Kings sat him his entire first season, hoping to allow him to develop physically. He debuted last season, looking alright in limited minutes. Their faith in Giles reportedly even contributed to them firing Dave Joerger just a few months ago.

But now Sacramento is cutting funding to the Giles reclamation project.

The Kings had a $3,976,510 team option on Giles and a $3,665,787 team option on Caleb Swanigan for next season.

James Ham of NBC Sports California:

The Kings passed on Caleb Swanigan’s fourth-year option and in a surprise move, they also declined to pick up Harry Giles’ fourth season.

What a disappointing development for Sacramento amid an already-disappointing 0-5 start to the season.

Giles could still pan out. But he has yet to play this season, and the Kings – the team that knows him best – declining his option certainly invites pessimism. Giles has yet to play this season amid continued knee problems. Not long ago, Sacramento was counting on him as part of a young core that also included De'Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield and Marvin Bagley III.

Acquired in a low-level trade with the Trail Blazers last season, Swanigan never held that stature. The former No. 26 pick just hasn’t looked like an NBA player. He’s an undersized interior scorer with limited athleticism.

Giles and Swanigan will become unrestricted free agents next summer.

Report: Bogdan Bogdanovic not content remaining Kings backup long-term

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Sacramento showed its commitment to starting shooting guard Buddy Hield with a big extension. The Kings are also high on Marvin Bagley, whom they view as a power forward. That keeps combo forward Harrison Barnes, who just got his own lucrative contract, at starting small forward.

Where does that leave Bogdan Bogdanovic?

A smaller wing, Bogdanovic is coming off the bench and headed toward restricted free agency next summer. Sacramento offered him the largest-allowable extension (four years, $51,394,560), but he can likely earn much more after his current contract expires. And he doesn’t seem inclined to give the Kings a discount.

Tim MacMahon of ESPN:

I’m sure I’ve heard some of the same rumblings as you of, hey, if they’re locked into Hield and Barnes – Bogdanovic, he might not be thrilled with being a sixth man there.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN:

That is exactly what I’m hearing.

Of course, Bogdanovic isn’t thrilled as a reserve. Nobody wants to be a backup.

But that this word is already spreading is revealing.

Unfortunately for Bogdanovic, the Kings control the situation. They can match any offer he receives next summer.

As Hield showed, making noise is sometimes the only way to generate leverage when you otherwise have little. This is a relatively benign leak. It also might be just the start.

Bogdanovic is a good young player with a nice all-around game. He can handle the ball, shoot and pass. He’d start for plenty of teams. Bogdanovic could even take Barnes’ starting job, though a Hield-Bogdanovic wing combination would be small.

If not, it gets complicated.

Sacramento will have to give a new deal to De'Aaron Fox in 2021 (maybe max) and Bagley in 2022. This team could get expensive in a hurry. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Kings deem Bogdanovic a luxury they can’t afford.

But Fox and Bagley will still be on their relatively cheap rookie-scale deals next season. Sacramento could keep Bogdanovic into next season then trade him if costs get too high.

Or maybe Bogdanovic finds an offer sheet too rich for the Kings to risk matching. He could be one of the better free agents in a weak 2020 class (though not if he keeps shooting 1-for-10, like he did in the opener).

Sacramento trading Bogdanovic this season or leveraging his restricted rights to sign-and-trade him next summer might be the ideal overall outcome. The Kings would get a return, and Bogdanovic would get to a new team.

Just don’t forget: The Kings have the power. They’re looking out for themselves, not the best-possible overall outcome. That limits Bogdanovic’s options for get his desired starting spot.

Kings big man Marvin Bagley III out 4-6 weeks with fractured thumb

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An ugly opening night loss for Sacramento — 124-95 to Phoenix, a game where the Kings turned the ball over 27 times — just got even worse.

Big man Marvin Bagley III, who started his night at the four but also played more than 14 minutes at center, will be out 4-6 weeks with a fractured thumb, the team announced Thursday. Kings’ coach Luke Walton said Thursday it happened in the fourth quarter, when a Suns player tried to strip the ball and caught Bagley’s thumb.

Here is the entire official announcement:

An MRI conducted this morning on Kings forward Marvin Bagley III revealed a non-displaced fracture (right thumb) sustained during Wednesday’s game vs. Phoenix. Bagley is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. His status will be updated as appropriate.

That’s a blow to the Kings, who are counting on Bagley taking steps forward in his second season to help push then up the standings and into the playoffs (for the first time in 13 years). It’s going to mean some shuffling of the Kings’ rotation.

Another option is to go smaller, have Harrison Barnes play the four, then play De'Aaron Fox at the point, Buddy Hield at the two, and some combination of Trevor Ariza and Bogdan Bogdanovic at the three. Luke Walton has options to tinker with and see what works.

This injury is mostly a setback for the development of Bagley, which is a setback for the Kings.

Both Fox and Hield went down with minor injuries during the game in Phoenix, but both are expected to play Friday against Portland.

Report: Celtics signing Jaylen Brown to four-year, $103M-$115M contract extension

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Update: Jay King of The Athletic:

 

 

 

The Celtics hadn’t signed someone to a rookie-scale extension since Rajon Rondo in 2009. Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, Tyler Zeller, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier all played out their contracts to restricted free agency.

When Jaylen Brown reportedly rejected a four-year, $80 million extension, it appeared that trend would continue.

But he and Boston struck a deal shortly before today’s 6 p.m. deadline.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

It’s tough to believe Brown is getting $115 million guaranteed – especially because that framing came from his agent. I’d be surprised if that’s not the top end with the deal incentive-heavy. The Kings and Buddy Hield provided a model for that type of contract earlier in the day.

A max offer sheet projected to be worth $125 million over four years. A max extension projected to be worth $130 million over four years.

This isn’t far below either mark. Considering the previous salary-cap projection didn’t include potential lost China revenue, $115 million could land near Brown’s max once it’s determined next summer.

Brown (No. 27 on our list the top 50 players in 5 years) has a promising future. He’s a versatile wing in a league where those are a hot commodity. He should fare better with lower-maintenance Kemba Walker replacing Kyrie Irving at point guard. Brown not playing for a new contract should also help chemistry.

Soon, we’ll see whether this is an exception or Boston has become a team more willing to grant rookie-scale extensions. Jayson Tatum (No. 12 on our list the top 50 players in 5 years) will be eligible next offseason.