By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
BUDDY Hield and Deandre Ayton are set to begin their 2018-19 seasons as NBA training camps get underway this week.
Hield and the Sacramento Kings will host Media Day today and will tip-off camp tomorrow at the team's downtown practice facility at Golden 1 Center. Training camp will continue through Sunday, September 30.
Ayton and the Phoenix Suns will host training camp September 25-29 at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona.
The Suns' week of camp will conclude with an open practice that will be held at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix at noon on Saturday, September 29. This will be the sixth-straight year and 22nd time overall that NAU and the City of Flagstaff will host the Suns' training camp. Phoenix first used Flagstaff as a training camp site in 1986 and held camp there for 16 of 19 years from 1986 through 2004.
When the NBA preseason tips off, the matchup of Bahamian players will highlight the schedule right away to announce the 2018-19 season.
Hield and Ayton will have their first head-to-head game in the NBA when the Suns host the Kings at Talking Stick Resort and Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 1.
The Suns will play a five-game preseason schedule which tips off with three home games and concludes with two road contests.
Following the game against the Kings, the Suns will face the New Zealand Breakers of Australia's National Basketball League on Wednesday, October 3 and the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, October 5.
The Suns' matchup against New Zealand marks the second consecutive year the club has hosted a team from the NBL, defeating the Brisbane Bullets 114-93 during the 2017 preseason.
The road slate is highlighted by a matchup against the defending NBA champions Golden State Warriors on Monday, October 8.
For the Kings, they follow the matchup against the Suns with a back-to-back set at Los Angeles on Thursday, October 4 and in Seattle versus Golden State on Friday, October 5.
The Kings return to the Golden One Center in Sacramento for its preseason home opener versus Maccabi Haifa on Monday, October 8. It will be the third tie in four seasons they are set to face the Israeli powerhouse.
The Kings round out their home exhibition schedule when they host the Utah Jazz Thursday, October 11 and concludes with a matchup against the Portland Trailblazers on Friday, October 12.
Hield and Ayton will face each other four times over the course of the regular season as Pacific Division rivals in the Western Conference.
The Suns will host the first of the four meetings against the Sacramento Kings on December 4 at Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Suns will also host game two on January 8.
The venue shifts for game three when Hield and the Kings host the Suns on February 10 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
The final regular season meeting between the teams takes place on March 23 in Sacramento.