LOS ANGELES — It’s almost a certainty that emerging star Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors will come to terms on an extension before Monday’s deadline for rookie-scale extension candidates.
The Cameroon native is the only player remaining from the 2016 NBA draft class considered to be a virtual lock to get a deal completed before the deadline, which is quite an accomplishment for the No. 27 overall pick.
However, in order to finalize the agreement between the two sides, a maximum contract offer will be required, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons and Denver’s Jamal Murray are the only players from the 2016 draft class who already have received five-year, $170 million max extensions.
As the new centerpiece of the organization, Siakam is poised for another breakout year that should include a hefty raise.
The other extension candidates aren’t so clear.
Sharpshooter Buddy Hield — the sixth pick in 2016 — and the Sacramento Kings appear to be operating under a more strenuous discourse.
The 6-foot-4 guard, who scored a career-high 20.7 points per game last season while shooting 42.7 percent from beyond the arc, recently expressed a level of frustration with how negotiations are going.
"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," Hield told the Sacramento Bee last week. "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."
The Kings have an offer for Hield on the table for four years and $90 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Hield and his agent, Brandon Rosenthal, are seeking a number closer to $110 million, sources said.
With the 2020 free-agent class expected to be weak in terms of star power, sources said Hield is prepared to bet on himself and play out the season to test the market as a restricted free agent next summer if Monday’s deadline passes without a deal in place.
The Kings re-signed forward Harrison Barnes in the offseason to a four-year, $85 million deal and franchise point guard De’Aaron Fox will command a max rookie-scale extension July 1. According to The Bee, the Kings also have reportedly offered swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic a max extension of four years and $51.4 million. He has until June 30 to sign or become a restricted free agent.
As the team’s leading scorer last season, Hield’s representation is encouraging management to open up the checkbook to keep a relatively young core together.
If a deal doesn’t happen by Monday, it could still happen nine months from now, but the Kings wouldn’t be the only team making an offer.
Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics are on similar footing.
During the first portion of negotiations, the No. 3 pick in the 2016 draft led his extension talks.
Brown never signed with an agent after being drafted from the University of California. He has since hired Jason Glushon, a veteran agent who represents Philadelphia forward Al Horford and New Orleans guard Jrue Holiday.
As Marc Stein of the New York Times noted in his latest newsletter, the Celtics rarely issue extensions to their rookies, with Rajon Rondo being the last to receive one in 2009.
But even with history not on Brown’s side, the Celtics have extended the 6-foot-7 swingman an offer of four years and $80 million, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
But Brown believes in his ability to one day be a star and is pursuing a bigger offer, sources said. Next season the Celtics will have another major decision: figuring out if Jayson Tatum is worth the rookie-scale max.
Should the 22-year-old Brown go the restricted free-agency route, he could end up being one of the top players on the market in July. Whatever he decides to do, he seems content and at peace.
“It’s really not overwhelming me or ruling my thoughts,” he told the New York Times. “I know what type of talent I have. I’m confident in myself. I’m confident in my ability. It’s not something that’s keeping me up at night.”
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