5 Years In: Grading Vlade Divac’s Free Agency Moves So Far

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Vlade Divac has been at the helm for the Sacramento Kings for the last five years, and the sample size of his work is no longer small. We grade each of his free agency moves so far.

Vlade Divac has now been the general manager of the Sacramento Kings for nearly five years. In June 2015, Divac was elevated from an advisor to become the team’s new GM, despite not having much if any previous front office experience.

The sample size of his work is no longer small. Five years is enough to accurately assess his performance, both positively and negatively.

Divac has been at the helm for five free agency periods, five drafts, and five trade deadlines. Today though, I am only going to focus on how he has done in free agency, grading each meaningful signing on a couple of factors. Those factors include price, fit at the time, and production with the team.

2015

Rajon Rondo: one-year, $9.5 million

The Kings inked Rondo to a deal when he was coming off of a disastrous half-year stint in Dallas the season before. For the money the Kings paid Rondo, his production was fine. He put up a ton of counting stats, including his league-leading 11.7 assists per game, but the stats he put up often felt empty. Rondo’s contract was by no means a disaster, but it was a pretty forgettable one-year experiment.

Grade: C+

Marco Belinelli: three-years, $19 million

Belinelli was signed in hopes of bringing a championship pedigree from San Antonio and provide excellent floor spacing. Neither came to fruition. In his lone year with the Kings, Belinelli shot a career-worst 30.6% from three and was largely a sieve on defense. After just one year with the organization, Belinelli was shipped to the Charlotte Hornets for a draft pick that the Kings used to select Malachi Richardson.

Grade: D-

Kosta Koufos: four-years, $33 million (player option on the fourth year)

Koufos was signed as someone the Kings envisioned as an ideal backup center to DeMarcus Cousins. The Kings definitely overpaid for a guy you ideally only wanted to play 10-15 minutes per game. Koufos was fine. He took a lot of hook shots and was seen as a good teammate and a hard worker. There is a reason that Koufos spent this past season playing for CKSA Moscow, rather than an NBA team.

Grade: D

2015 overall free agency grade: D+

Outside of Koufos, nobody was on the team past their first season with the organization and none of the signings positively impacted the team’s long-term outlook.

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