Sacramento Kings Waive David Stockton, Keep Eric Moreland


Vlade Divac had a decision to make. The Sacramento Kings carried 16 players through their six preseason games, but the regular season roster limit is 15. Somebody had to go.

And like I wrote in that piece about a week ago, it was almost certainly either Duje Dukan, Eric Moreland or David Stockton. Two of those three guys are power forwards, but it still seemed likely that Stockton would be the odd man out.

The Kings have shooting problems, and Dukan helps with that. Plus he’s a rookie, meaning he probably has more unexplored potential that Stockton or Moreland. So he was likely safe, especially considering his deal was both guaranteed and very, very cheap.

Moreland was released once before, but thanks to his gaudy preseason numbers he definitely at least had a shot to make the team. He’s a quality rebounding and scoring big man, and although he doesn’t do much else yet he too has potential to become a role player.

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Stockton has the chance to be a dynamic point guard, but he’s short. His defense is a problem, and despite lighting up the D-League he’s never been given substantial NBA minutes. Plus his position is crowded, with Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison and Seth Curry all in front of him on the depth chart.

That’s why it made the most sense to let Stockton go and keep Moreland and Dukan, and that’s exactly what Divac did on Thursday.

Vlade has been a far better GM than most people expected he’d be when he was given control of player personnel–for all the talk of his lack of relevant experience, he’s done a far better job at putting together a talented roster than Sacramento has seen in years.

Keeping Moreland and Dukan instead of Stockton is simply the latest example of that. Stockton has the legacy and the pure basketball skills, but he may just be too small to ever have a large role in the NBA, pun very intended.

He’s athletic, he can shoot and dish the rock, but he’s not yet ready to have a large role on a team, and languishing on the bench probably wouldn’t help that very much.

What’s likely going to happen is Stockton will clear waivers–unless a desperate team decides to snatch him up, which is unlikely considering most clubs are dropping players instead of adding them–and then be brought back for another season with the Reno Bighorns.

This is likely the best case scenario for everyone involved. Stockton can have another huge D-League season and raise his value, which could result in the Kings dealing him somewhere with more of a need for a young point guard.

That just isn’t Sacramento right now. Eric Moreland and Duje Dukan will be more useful in helping the Sacramento Kings win games this season, which is the goal of the franchise at the moment. David Stockton is a promising young player, but he didn’t fit in on this team.

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