The Last Cigarette: Vlade Divac Kings Steps Down As GM


Kings fans are well aware of what Vlad Divak, the general manager and vice president of basketball operations, said in February 2017. Just days after trading All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins, Divac promised he had a plan. And if his plan did not work, he would take responsibility.

“I think we’re going to be in better shape in two years,” Divak told Sacramento Bee Columnist Eileen Voisin. “I want to hear from these people again in two years. If I’m right, great. If I am wrong, I will step down. But if I go down, I’m going down my path.

Although it is three and a half years old, but not two, Divak is essentially speaking out. The Kings’ general manager, who first joined the team’s front office in March 2015 and acquired the GM role in August, stepped in on Friday. Special Adviser who will take over on Dumras Interim basis.

The move was not expected. In April 2019, the team appeared to be married to Divac for a long term. That month, the franchise fired head coach Dave Joeger, hired Luke Walton and awarded Divac a four-year extension. Walton’s deal was also for four years, joining GM and head coach in a move to a contracted deadline to create a new, consistent era of Kings basketball. Interestingly, Walton will not be outside the door. AthleticSam Sam Reported That the head coach’s job is safe. Although NBC Sports’ James Hamm reported The next GM may change that.

In 2015, Divac was an off-the-wall hire. Owner Vivek Ranadive brought the former Kings Legend back to Sacramento as the team’s vice president of basketball operations, which seemed like a move to tie the current administration to the franchise’s glory year (around the same time, Peja Stojakovic had a Also earned a front office role). Speculation grew as to whether the Divacs were doing so by then-GM Pete D’Alandro, who at the time had left the team in June 2015, a few weeks before the NBA draft. Divac was officially promoted to the GM role only a few months later.

Outside that chaos came an administration that appeared unaffected. In June 2018, Divack stated that the Kings were “a supertime, just young.” Also in 2018, the Kings’ Twitter account posted a photo of Divac showing the team’s draft board in the background. In December of that year, Divak admitted that he did not know how the salary cap worked when he came to the office in front of the Kings.

Obviously, the results were mixed – at best. His first big move as a GM, the 2015 salary cap dump that included the Kings’ Nick Stockas and future first-round costs, is one of the most offensive moves in recent NBA history. The team used the money they had saved from an unlicensed trade of Rajon Rondo, Costa Kofos, and Marco Bellinelli, and Sacramento improved their win by four wins. Divac drafted Georgios Papagnianis, an obscure foreign player who was virtually unheard of prior to selection, with the 13th pick in the 2016 draft. He played 38 matches with the franchise with one season and more than one, and shortly thereafter dropped out of the NBA. Divac gave big contracts to players such as George Hill, Zach Randolph, Dwayne Dedmon, and Harrison Barnes. And he fired Joeger, the team’s best season since 2005-06, after putting together the coach’s 39-43 record in 2018-19.

All of this certainly contributed to Divak welcoming him with the franchise. But his real legacy as Sacramento’s GM will, of course, be Marvin Bagley III’s selection in the 2018 draft. Kings fans were desperate for Luca Donsik, and draft experts saw Doncic as the definitive star. It is inconceivable that three teams went through that, but at least the Suns and Hawks have solid young corners in Deandre Ayton and Trey Young respectively. Bagley has played just 75 games with the team in two seasons, and has not been very effective when he has been on the floor. Donsik is an All-Star who will soon compete for the MVP Trophy, if not the Final Trophy. The kings Mavericks now could have a bright future, But they passed. This is a modern-day Sam Bowie selection, a decision so devastating that it would be a victim of the franchise for decades. Divac has been beloved in Sacramento since his playing days, but there was no escaping that mistake.

Divak deserves some credit in his tenure. Technically, the team is It was better when Divac traded cousins. When the Kings made that deal, the team was 24–33, with a win percentage of .421. He finished the 2019-20 season with a win percentage of .431. If you satirize, it almost looks like progress. Trading Cousins ​​worked for the franchise as Buddy Heidel – the team found the main player, instead of which he was developed into a solid player in Sacramento (though it seems unlikely that the Hiddle franchise would have long with Want to last longer). In 2017, Divac drafted D’Aron Fox, easily the best player since the Kings’ cousin – and likely to be even better. Divac brought Bogdan Bogdanovic to the city in a clever 2016 trade with the Suns.

But during Kanti’s brief moments fade away. Divac promised that he would do things his way, and if they don’t work, he would go down. The timing was not quite right, but in the end that’s what happened.

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