The 76ers’ Sam Hinkie is the poster boy for an NBA executive whose poor communication skills have ruffled feathers.
But he’s apparently not the only one.
Kings general manager Vlade Divac has his own issues when other general managers call.
Sometimes, Vlade doesn’t call them back. Like, they’ll call, because this is what guys do. “Hey, you know…” to sort of get a feel. I can’t say for sure. I don’t know how many calls Vlade is getting. But I’ve heard from people that sometimes, they call him and Vlade’s just like, “We’re not doing business now, so I’m not calling you back.”
To give Divac the benefit of the doubt, that could be a negotiating ploy. Make potential trade partners desperate for your players.
I don’t think that would work. It takes conversations to gain an understanding of what the other side hopes to accomplish.
I also don’t think Divac is being savvy.
When they made that trade with the Sixers, where the Sixers got Stauskas and swap rights and two swap rights and a pick for taking on dead money basically, Vlade was not aware that there was a trade call to the league office, apparently. And the Sixers had to tell him, “No, no. We have to call to finalize this trade.”
The 76ers robbed the Kings blind in that trade, and it’s a easier to understand why now. Do you trust someone who doesn’t even know about a trade call to properly negotiate pick swaps and protections?
If I were a general manager, as soon as I saw that trade, I’d call Divac immediately to see whether I could also pull one over on him. His phone was probably ringing off the hook – which could explain the unreturned calls.
Divac adds value to the Kings. It seems he’s done a good job smoothing the DeMarcus Cousins-George Karl rift, and that’s important for a franchise that has suffered so much turmoil from within.
But there’s still little evidence he’s the person you want assembling your roster. Perhaps, he’ll grow into that duty. This is his first front-office job. Then again, why hire a general whose understanding of the job is so limited?
As usual, the Kings’ problems flow up to owner Vivek Ranadivé.