Kings pick up options on Buddy Hield, Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein
The Sacramento Kings have exercised their third-year options on Buddy Hield, Malachi Richardson, Skal Labissiere, and Georgios Papagiannis, as well as the fourth-year option on Willie Cauley-Stein, per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
None of those moves should be particularly surprising. All five players represent significant investments for the Kings in their ongoing rebuilding project.
Richardson, Labissiere, and Papagiannis were all the Kings’ first-round picks last season, while Hield, last year’s No. 6 overall pick, was a major piece in the deal that sent DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cauley-Stein was the team’s No. 6 overall pick in 2015.
Hield and Labissiere showed the most potential among last year’s rookies, particularly during the latter stages of the season. Hield averaged 15 points and shot 43 percent on 3-pointers in 25 games with the Kings last year. He’s in the middle of a slump, though, averaging just 11 points on 37 percent shooting this season.
Papagiannis, who was the No. 13 overall pick last year, and Richardson didn’t show quite as much promise, although Richardson was limited to just 22 games due to a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Cauley-Stein is finally getting the opportunity to become a consistent starter in his third year. He’s averaging 10.3 points and 7.3 rebounds in 27.8 minutes through six games this season.