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Vlade Divac Targeting Playmaker, Power Forward in Draft

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Bee’s Ailene Voisin had another sit down interview with Kings VP Vlade Divac for a column that went live yesterday, and as usual, Divac was very insightful.

The interview is worth reading in its entirety, but one quote I found particularly interesting could shed some light on what the Kings are going to do with the 6th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Via The Sacramento Bee -

Pressed for specifics, the affable Serb offered favorable snippets about all the prospects who might be available at No. 6, but he cited his priorities as follows: adding another playmaker and upgrading the power forward position, preferably with a long, athletic shot blocker and rim protector to complement DeMarcus Cousins.

Assuming Vlade Divac is giving us real information here instead of a smokescreen, this does narrow the list down a bit. For the record, I am perfectly fine with Divac ‘lying’ to the media if it results in the Kings getting the player they need. It’s all part of the game.

Exactly one player potentially available when the Kings pick fits the "long, athletic shot blocker and rim protector to complement DeMarcus Cousins", and that is Willie Cauley-Stein. There is no doubt who Voisin and Divac are referring to there.

The term ‘playmaker’ is a lot less specific. Generally speaking, a playmaker is a player who sets up scoring opportunities for his teammates. Generally speaking.

A playmaker doesn’t have to be a point guard, or a passer, per se. You can create scoring opportunities for yourself, and still be considered a playmaker. That isn’t the most traditional way to define it, but I think that is what Divac meant in this instance. This roster needs players that you can give the ball to, and they can go make something happen with it. The only players on this roster who fit into that category right now are DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Darren Collison.

So how does that narrow the list down? Well, it rules out Justise Winslow to some degree, which isn’t all that surprising considering the Kings haven’t worked him out yet, and aren’t scheduled to with just four days remaining before the draft.

Emmanual Mudiay is still in play for his obvious passing and playmaking abilities.

Mario Hezonja, while not a playmaker in the tradition sense, still fits under Vlade’s umbrella of needs for his offensive versatility while handling the ball. He's more of a scorer than a passer, yes, but his confidence as a ball handler will open up the floor for everyone. Watch the highlights from his 18-point performance against Real Madrid from Friday, and you'll see him making plenty of plays.

Other potential lottery picks like Cameron Payne and Myles Turner also fit what the Kings are apparently looking for, but both would feel like a bit of a reach at 6.

It already felt like one of Emmanual Mudiay, Mario Hezonja, or Willie Cauley-Stein would be a King by June 25th, and it looks like Divac is thinking about the same three players we’ve been projecting here for a couple of weeks.

A few more notes from the Voisin Interview –

· The Kings personnel staff, according to Vlade, includes Mike Bratz, Dean Oliver, Chad Iske, George Karl, European scout Marco Baldi, and Divac himself. Those are your decision makers for the time being. I’m glad Oliver is still on board.

· "That’s not happening" – Vlade Divac on a potential DeMarcus Cousins trade.

· Divac wants "several good pieces" if he were to trade the 6th pick.

· Vlade mentioned that he’d like to "do something, a smaller move" before the draft, which is sort of an odd statement to make unless something is close. The draft is only four days away, which is not a long time for something to materialize unless it’s already being discussed. At any rate, be ready, a move could be made sooner than later.