ESPN made a splash Thursday morning when Jonathan Givony reported that Vlade Divac wasn’t in Serbia for the EuroLeague Finals as originally thought. Within hours the report has already been shown to be a non-story. With that said, let’s get into the details.
The Kings were initially supposed to have GM Vlade Divac in Belgrade, according to a Sacramento front-office executive at the combine, but Divac never made it, instead electing to attend his son’s college graduation in California. People I trust say the Kings’ front office has been expressing significant skepticism about Doncic’s NBA prospects all year in private conversations, long before they moved up in the draft. At this stage, I think a lot of NBA teams have already made up their minds about Doncic, and it isn’t quite as flattering as we initially thought.
If you read this and this alone, you could be surprised and reach the conclusion the Sacramento Kings are out on Luka Doncic. But let’s fact check this a little bit.
Vivek Ranadivé, Kings Chairman and Vlade’s boss, says he was in Serbia. Now, this isn’t to dispute that Vlade attended his son’s graduation in California. This is to suggest that thanks to the marvels of modern technology Vlade could have been in Serbia and then traveled to California for his son’s graduation.
And since a single, close-up photo from Vivek doesn’t necessarily prove anything, we can also look at the Twitter feed for Vlade’s foundation in Serbia, showing Vlade attending their annual ceremony.
Hvala svima koji su sinoć bili u @FabrikaBG na proslavi 11 godina #fondacijadivac. Dobitnik nagrade za filantropiju je dobrotvor Desko Nikitovic i njegova supruga Ryann. Priču sa nama podelio je omiljeni poštar Kursumlijske Banje, Filip.. #fondacijadivac #humanost #solidarnost pic.twitter.com/3rHy5FBrKI— Fondacija Divac (@FondacijaDivac) May 18, 2018
So what does all this mean? We know that because of Doncic’s schedule with Real Madrid, he won’t be working out for teams before the draft. We assume that he could meet with teams between games. It’s not like Vlade didn’t know the date of his son’s graduation ahead of time. It’s a fairly safe assumption that Vlade Divac, who is a legend in Serbia and once worked for Real Madrid in a ceremonial position, has the necessary connections to arrange a meeting with Doncic or meetings with those around Doncic.
The Kings may be high on Doncic. They Kings may be out on Doncic. We don’t know. But to presume that Vlade’s absence means anything is foolish.
Sactown Royalty has confirmed that Vlade Divac was in attendance at the EuroLeague Semifinals, and that the Kings has multiple scouts at both the Semifinals and the Finals games.