The Sacramento Kings are making moves one would expect from a team with playoff hopes and not a team who should be in rebuild mode. However, Vlade Divac is doing both at the same time and it has given Kings fans hope for the 2017-18 season. With the Trade Deadline deal of DeMarcus Cousin, Kings fans had given up hope for contention. But the NBA Draft came and Divac used his brain instead of whatever else he’s been relying on.
No more Cousins or Rudy Gay so the Kings had to find players who fit the system rather than pick a name.
It started with the Draft when they selected their PG for the future in De’Aaron Fox. Then through a deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, they selected SF Justin Jackson as a replacement for Rudy Gay. With those two moves– the Kings filled their top two needs with no bad trades made or giving up extra cap space.
With Willie Cauley-Stein penciled into the frontcourt and Buddy Hield as their starting SG, the next move was to find a fixture at Power Forward.
This is when Vlade Divac proved to the Sacramento Kings faithful that he had the team’s best interest at heart. It began with a Max offer to Otto Porter Jr of the Washington Wizards. With reports that the Wizards were going to match the offer– the Kings didn’t waste any time with a backup plan. Early Tuesday, it was reported that Divac signed veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph to multi-year deals. In doing so they may have moved on from the Porter sweepstakes and now will look to mix the young with the old for 2017.
To some– these moves may signal trouble but a closer look shows how dangerous the Kings can be.
The core is young and athletic with Fox, Jackson, Hield, and Cauley-Stein. By adding vets, Hill and Randolph– the Kings have reliable players to fall back on when/if the younger guys struggle or need a go-to bucket or a defensive stop. These moves will not signal an automatic trip to the playoffs but for a team who won 32 games in a tough Western Conference, this was a step in the right direction.
Divac has been dismissed as incompetent during his tenure with the King. However, he seems to have turned the one hostile congregation in his favor.