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Dave Joerger: ‘We have a positive direction that we’re going as a franchise’

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Dave Joerger, Vlade Divac and several Kings players discuss this year’s development and what needs to happen moving forward

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Minnesota Timberwolves Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017-18 Sacramento Kings campaign was a rebuild year with a roster full of young players. After the team closed out the season with a win over the Houston Rockets this week, several players, head coach Dave Joerger and general manager Vlade Divac discussed development this year and what needs to take place moving forward in order to get better.

Dave Joerger

“We have a positive direction that we’re going as a franchise and I think … our guys feel it. I think our guys are going out and competing on a regular basis, and showing our fans hey, we’re coming, I don’t know how long it will be, but we’re going to go out there and we’re going to compete and we’re going to keep getting better.”

“We’re a society that wants a quick change and we want it right now, and it just takes time, time together to get that chemistry. We all want it to happen as fast as possible, and we’re doing everything we can for that.”

“It’s a group that, they get along – maybe sometimes because they don’t know what they don’t know yet, but they just have an energy to them and they like to work and I think we have a lot of nice guys … I think we have very open lines of communication with our guys.” “It takes time as far as who becomes the bigger dog and the bigger role and dudes then have to play off of that, so it is kind of always being shaped. And it will be shaped a little bit by who has a great summer and jumps to maximize their talent as quickly as they can.”

“I look at next year as another year of development.” “To me, it’s just about getting our guys better, so that is why we don’t sit and talk about numbers. Next year is part of an on-going broad stroke, OK, where are we? How far away are we?” … “I had Mike Conley and Marc Gasol, and you think of the thousands of pick and rolls that they were in defensively and then offensively and it just takes time. Bogie [Bogdan Bogdanovic] and Willie [Cauley-Stein] are learning how to play together, Buddy Hield is getting a little bit better in the pick and roll. And I just use pick and roll as a partnership of what I look at of how I can put guys together and where I can space guys around and I think our guys’ IQ just through sheer experience over the season has gotten better.”

Vlade Divac

“I think we made steady progress on our plan, developing our young guys this year. They really respond very well in terms of learning what the NBA is all about. They improved their games, they even compete. They found a way to win games and create a lot of clutch opportunities in the end that make us feel good moving forward.”

“What we need from our young guys, and that comes with time, is consistency. They showed a lot of times the ability to be NBA players, but we need next step, and I’m sure with the coaching staff and their hard work this summer, that’s what we’re going to expect next year.”

De’Aaron Fox

“I see the work that we’ve been able to put in, I’ve seen the progression and the steps that we’ve made. So, definitely optimistic and just ready to see where it takes us.”

Vince Carter

“I think we’re very close, it’s just about repetition. This summer is very important for every player in here. I think because of the progression, more than likely everybody as far as the young guys is concerned will be together, so the familiarity part is there and it’s easier to hit the ground running come training camp. It’s not like teaching, that’s the biggest thing … I don’t think you can say you’ve seen it all, but they’ve seen enough to where it is like, OK, I know how to react to X … The challenge now is learning how to sustain leads, that’s just the next part of it, and understand patience. Right now, we’re playing for development, and understanding what comes with development and understanding now comes patience.”

Buddy Hield

“For us to get better, we’ve got to work hard this summer, no question about it. We can’t take no days off … You see how the teams in the west are, the west is no joke. You’ve got to come in ready next season. You can’t be out of shape, you’ve got to put in work, attack Summer League, treat it as a real game, get better and use that platform to help grow as a player on and off the court. We need to develop a winning culture here, that’s what management wants to do, ownership wants to do, coaches want to do. We all want to win, so we’ve got to put the work in and get the results.”

Bogdan Bogdanovic

“Good season for us, I cannot say it was a great one. I know we are young guys, but I don’t want to name this season as a great season because I know we can do better and we will do it better. The change cannot happen overnight obviously, and I know we will be better next year.”

“When I say to create a culture, it means to create a Sacramento Kings type of basketball, so we have to figure out what it is and just try to bring it on, like every single team playing a different way.”

“I think we have to create some chemistry as well and try to work on fundamental stuff, and to define roles for next year.”

“We had a couple of quarters in this season against great teams, and a couple of really nice games we played, but we didn’t have that great game when we won somebody by 40 points … I think that will come next year, and with that experience we have from this year, we’ll just look back and laugh at this season.”