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30Q: Is Vlade Divac a good GM?

It’s a question worth asking again periodically


The Sacramento Kings made a bold decision last season, parting ways with DeMarcus Cousins and ushering in a full rebuild. The move had been debated by fans for years before the team actually made the trade. The Kings will be worse this season, but the fan base is generally excited about the youth movement and a fresh start. It seems only fair then that we re-evaluate Vlade Divac’s performance as Kings GM.

The Kings traded Cousins at a time when the 8th seed was hypothetically still in reach. By hitting the reset button and tanking the end of the year, the Kings landed the 5th overall pick (thanks to some lottery luck) and selected De’Aaron Fox. Had the Kings not tanked, the risked losing their first round pick outright to the Chicago Bulls, as the pick was only top 10 protected.

The Kings also got Buddy Hield in return for Cousins, as well as a first and a second round pick. The first round pick was flipped on draft night from the 10th pick to the 15th and 20th picks, sefuring Justin Jackson and Harry Giles. The second round pick was used to select Frank Mason III.

With one major move the Kings effectively restocked with 5 young players. It’s an inpressive feat for any rebuilding club.

We cant praise these recent moves without acknowledging failures of the past. A pick swap meant getting the 5th pick instead of the 3rd. The Kings still owe an unprotected pick in 2019. Those failures still exist. But they’re consequences of moves 2 years ago. Vlade, and I’m hesitant to say this, may be improving as a GM.

It only takes one bad move to change our opinions again. He’s still far from being considered a great GM. He still makes gaffes like "having a better deal 2 days ago", but he’s also not what I would consider among the worst GMs in the league.

It’s an ongoing question and my opinion on it fluctuates day to day, but how do you feel about Vlade as Kings GM?