Vlade Divac is the Kings’ general manager.
The Kings also plan to hire a general manager this summer.
But don’t think Divac is leaving Sacramento’s front office.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Divac’s big move to date: trading valuable draft considerations and Nik Stauskas to dump Jason Thompson and Carl Landry on the 76ers. That July trade cleared cap space – but only after most of the top free agents had chosen their destinations.
Sacramento used the resulting cap room to sign two of Rajon Rondo, Kosta Koufos and Marco Belinelli. The Kings could’ve afforded one of the three without the Philadelphia trade. You can guess which they would’ve chosen. The best of the three, Rondo, is on just a one-year contract. So, after rehabbing his on-court image (at what seemed to be an above-market salary), he can leave in free agency this summer if he desires.
And that’s how Divac built a 29-45 team with a rickety future.
He also bothered other general managers by not returning calls and undermined Kings coach George Karl. At least Karl will soon be out. Divac must still learn how to productively work with the rest of the league.
DeMarcus Cousins – talented, young and under contract for two more seasons – gives Sacramento hope. He’s an All-Star, a legitimate franchise player. But the next two years can fly by, and then he’ll be an unrestricted free agent. The Kings can’t afford to waste time.
Divac has potential to handle this difficult situation, but he clearly needs to grow into the job. Blame owner Vivek Ranadive for hiring someone so ill-prepared, not Divac for learning to swim once thrown in the deep end.
David Morway – the former Pacers GM who was let go by the Bucks as assistant GM before the season – could help. He has the experience to guide Divac, who – despite his long playing career providing helpful perspective – is new to this side of the league.
But Morway also previously interviewed to run Sacramento’s front office. Do the Kings, an organization already plagued by in-fighting and leaks, want to create a situation ripe for a power struggle?
How long until Ranadive again changes direction and Divac is in the same boat?
Update: The Kings officially announced a new deal for Divac.