Divac Calms Kings Fans With Draft Selection


Take your cigarette break Vlade Divac, it’s well-deserved.

Turns out the former chain smoker also known for his cameo in ‘Married With Children’ is a basketball savant on the side. Despite the walls of speculation caving in on the organization during the last 72 hours, the Sacramento Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations calmly selected a player he had targeted all along in the draft process: Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein. The selection brought immediate serenity to a fan base that was Twitter punch-drunk in recent days due to rumors ranging from DeMarcus Cousins being traded to George Karl being fired.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Divac had a draft crush on Barcelona’s Mario Hezonja, and why not? We’re all entitled to fall in love with a prospect leading up to the draft. In Hezonja he saw an impact shooter with the flair of a Jason Williams.

By all accounts Vlade wasn’t concerned that the previous Kings front office had drafted two shooting guards in a row. Divac concerned himself with winning right now. Hezonja was option 1a and Cauley-Stein was option 1b. He would only take Hezonja if he fell to the Kings at 6.

“A lot of (general managers around the league) think I’m a rookie,” Divac exclaimed in a post draft press conference. “They proposed some bad deals. I’m no rookie. I’ve spent all my life in basketball.”

When Hezjonia was drafted with the fifth selection by the Orlando Magic, Divac was poised to take Cauley-Stein at six.

“We talked about how we were going to approach (the draft) and I was really confident that we had to pick the best player in that position. Willie, in my eyes, was the best player.”

After failed attempts to trade back and acquire additional draft picks, Vlade was content to take his guy at six. With the Kings on the clock at six Divac asked the powers that be whether they would prefer to draft Cauley-Stein or Justice Winslow. The consensus was Cauley-Stein.

While the Kings look to make moves leading up to free agency, drafting Cauley-Stein marks the first transaction of the Vlade Divac era. What a calming move it was.

Notes: The Kings Front Office fielded several calls for Eric Moreland Thursday night. None were enticing enough to move the PF/C who missed the entire 2014-2015 campaign with a shoulder injury… Micha Nori has left the Sacramento Kings coaching staff to join former Kings coach Michael Malone as a lead assistant in Denver.