Divac Out As Kings GM
The Sacramento Kings announced on Friday that general manager Vlade Divac has stepped down from his position.
Joe Dumars has been named interim executive vice president of basketball operations, and he will assume the general manager role until a full-time replacement is found.
The Kings hired Divac, 52, as vice president of basketball operations in 2015 after Chris Mullin left that role to pursue a head coaching job at St. John’s. Vivek Ranadive had just bought the team two years prior, and this was one of his first biggest moves.
Divac took over the GM responsibilities shortly after starting his new job and has hired three different head coaches during his time in that position. Divac hired Luke Walton prior to the 2019-20 season, and he is signed through the 2022-23 season.
Expectations were high for the Kings entering the 2019-20 season, but the season ended with the 14th straight year missing the playoffs. Sacramento went just 3-5 during the restart in Orlando to keep the dubious streak alive.
Divac played six of his 16 seasons in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings and was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. It is unclear if this decision was made solely by Divac, or if the team had asked him to step down.
Dumars, 57, will now look to provide stability to a franchise that had struggled over the last decade-plus. Dumars was the 2002-03 Executive of the Year with the Detroit Pistons and guided that franchise to an NBA Championship.
The Kings will give Dumars a chance to be named the long-term GM of the franchise, but it’s unclear what role Dumars is seeking. Dumars has been in Orlando and had met with Ranadive on a few occasions before this move was made.
Big Decisions Upcoming For Sacramento
Injuries played a big role in the disappointing season for the Kings in 2019-20, but there are some big decisions upcoming. Dumars will guide the Kings through the 2020 NBA Draft and is expected to help out with free agency as well.
Bogdan Bogdanovic will be a restricted free agent this summer, and the Kings will have to decide if they wish to make an offer. Guard Buddy Hield has also expressed some frustration with his role on the team, and Dumars will have to decide to keep him or seek a potential trade.
One of the biggest decisions that Divac made could potentially haunt the franchise for years. The Kings selected Marvin Bagley III with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018, and he has failed to deliver since joining the team.
Meanwhile, Luka Doncic was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the No. 3 overall pick that year and has emerged as a huge star in the league. Sacramento can’t afford to make a similar mistake in the 2020 NBA Draft, and that will be up to Dumars.
Peja Stojakovic and Ken Canatella are assistant GMs, and they are expected to keep their roles with the team.
Things seem to be staying to plan for most of the teams in the league as games continue to be played.
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