If you thought the Sacramento Kings couldn’t get any more incompetent, well, you’d be wrong.

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans for pennies on the dollar, a move that apparently was inspired by team owner Vivek Ranadive’s infatuation with Buddy Hield.

So, just how much did Ranadive covet Hield? The 23-year-old rookie offered insight into Ranadive’s thinking recently — and made a pretty revealing admission in the process.

“Every time — even the past two times — (Ranadive) always talked about, ‘We’re always pushing hard for you,'” Hield told reporters. “He said, ‘We’re still going to get you.’ He kept saying that.”

“I was surprised with him saying that, but now, when I saw I was going to Sacramento, I said, ‘Oh, these guys are really serious about me.’ I just kind of know they were determined about getting me.”

It appears Hield is just trying to say nice things about the Kings here. But isn’t this tampering on the part of Sacramento?

The NBA’s rulebook defines tampering as any “person affiliated with an NBA team” attempting to “directly or indirectly entice, induce, or persuade” a player or coach under contract with another team to enter into negotiations or “interfere with the employment relationship between that employee and the other NBA team.”

We’re pretty sure Ranadive repeatedly telling Hield that the Kings are “going to get” him falls under that umbrella.

Even if Sacramento doesn’t get charged with tampering — the league hasn’t taken any action yet — it’s still not the best look for an NBA owner to campaign so openly for a player. It’s also pretty unfortunate for Hield that he potentially put his new team in jeopardy with his comments.

Then again, this is the Kings we’re talking about, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

H/t to Pro Basketball Talk

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images