Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes putback gives Sacramento first win of season, defeating Utah (VIDEO)

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De'Aaron Fox made this play happen — as he’d been making plays happen all night.

Fox was aggressive from the opening tip, attacking Mike Conley and the Jazz defense, and it paid off to the tune of 25 points on 17 shots, and he got to the line a dozen times as part of that. With the game on the line, Fox attacked again but found Nemanja Bjelica wide open in the corner for a three, he got off a clean look that just would not go down.

Then Harrison Barnes swooped in to tip in the game-winner.

The solid Jazz defense did not do a great job on the final play, including Bojan Bogdanovic not putting a body on Barnes to seal him off and prevent the game-winner.

The Kings, after a rough 0-5 start with some ugly losses in there, needed this one. We’ll see if they can build on that as they head out on the road for four of their next five.

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: Kings, Buddy Hield agree to four-year contract extension worth $86M-$106M

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The Kings and Buddy Hield agreed to a contract extension.

The big question: How did they bridge the gap between the $90 million Sacramento reportedly offered and the $110 million Hield reportedly wanted?

Sam Amick of USA Today:

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports:

It sounds as if Hield’s base salary will follow this structure:

  • 2020-21: $24,431,818
  • 2021-22: $22,477,273
  • 2022-23: $20,522,727
  • 2023-24: $18,568,182

Hield gets more money sooner. The Kings get more savings down the road, when maybe – just maybe – they become more of a free-agent destination.

Tying $20 million to incentives is another creative way to find common ground. Hield guarantees himself a life-changing $86 million (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is $1 million more than Harrison Barnes got). Sacramento will pay more only if Hield and the the team perform.

I wonder about the attainability of these incentives, though. The examples of the $8 million worth easier-to-trigger incentives aren’t that easy.

Hield finished seventh among qualified players in 3-point percentage last season (43%). But if he had missed just four more of his attempts, he would’ve fallen from the top 10. There’s so little margin for error. Don’t expect Hield to attempt many end-of-quarter heaves during this contract.

The Kings could make the playoffs. But the Western Conference is so tough. Nobody would be surprised if a winning team misses the postseason.

And those the more-reachable incentives. Imagine how difficult the $12 million of difficult ones are.

Hield is a good player, and he should provide plenty for Sacramento. The Kings ought to appreciate locking him up. He ought to appreciate not chasing an offer sheet next summer at age 27.

This looks like a good deal for both sides.

Report: Kings, Buddy Hield expected to sign contract extension

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Buddy Hield made a lot of noise. Harrison Barnes got caught in the crossfire.

But in the end, it seems Hield will get his desired contract extension from the Kings by today’s 6 p.m. Eastern deadline.

Carmichael Dave of KHTK Sports Sacramento:

Sacramento reportedly offered four years, $90 million. Hield reportedly wanted four years, $110 million.

Where will the final terms land?

A $90 million offer seemed reasonable. That’s life-changing money, and Hield could guarantee himself that.

But there was also a decent chance Hield could fetch a max offer sheet in restricted free agency next summer. That projected to be worth $125 million over four years (at least before the NBA began losing China revenue). So, though they were in no jeopardy of losing him anytime soon, the Kings faced downside if waiting to pay the quality shooting guard.

Instead, Sacramento will apparently lock up a key piece of its solid young team.