Why Did It Happen?
The reason that was provided by the Kings organization at the time was that they were hesitant to take the ball out of their franchise cornerstone De’Aaron Fox‘s hands. This line of logic drove many people, including this writer, crazy at the time. Why wouldn’t you want multiple playmakers on the court as possible?
However, the reasoning behind Divac and company’s decision is not to be dismissed as totally out of hand. It’s totally possible that Fox and Doncic, two young and hungry talents, would have found a way to play alongside each other. However, it is undeniable that both need to be the primary ball handler for maximum effectiveness. It just is what it is. Without a true top-notch coach that knows how to maximize talents and fit odd pegs together, the Kings would likely be faced with the awkward decision of choosing which of their franchise talents to neuter.
This feels like a good time to introduce a new wrinkle to this story: there were reports that a trade with the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis in exchange for De’Aaron Fox was on the table prior to the 2018 NBA Draft. Yes, that means there’s a parallel universe where the Kings are essentially the Dallas Mavericks, minus one of the five best coaches in the league and one of the most eclectic owners in all of sports.