It seems like we’ve been here before. The last time the NBA locked out in 1998, the Kings were coming off of a miserable season. But thanks to some exciting pre-lockout moves, hope surrounding the franchise began to pick up.
There are quite a few similarities between the summers of 1998 and 2011 for the Kings.
-Just completed a sub-30 win season.
-Grabbed the 7th pick in the draft.
-Drafted a flashy, exciting point guard (Jason Williams/Jimmer Fredette).
-Added a small forward that was originally acquired years earlier (Peja Stojakovic/John Salmons)
-Had a shot-blocking center primed to make big bucks on the open market (Yogi Stewart/Samuel Dalembert).
-Traded for a young, athletic big man yet to fulfill his potential (Chris Webber/JJ Hickson. OK, maybe a stretch).
Now, all we need to do is add our Vlade Divac when the lockout is lifted.
The 1998/1999 Kings Lockout Timeline
April 19, 1998 – Lose in overtime to Vancouver, finishing the 1997-98 season at 27-55.
May 14, 1998 – Trade Mitch Richmond and Otis Thorpe to Washington for Webber.
June 15, 1998 – Sign Stojakovic, who was originally drafted two years earlier but returned to play in Greece.
June 24, 1998 - Add Williams (7th) and Jerome James (36th) in the NBA Draft.
July 1, 1998 – The NBA lockout begins.
January 20, 1999 – The NBA lockout ends after 204 days.
January 22, 1999 – Sign Divac to a 6-year, $62 million contract. The team also signs guards Jon Barry and Vernon Maxwell.
February 5, 1999 – Open the 1999 NBA season in San Antonio. The team goes on to finish 27-23 and earn the Western Conference’s 8th seed.