SACRAMENTO -- Good intentions don’t always show good results.
When the Sacramento Kings signed Dewayne Dedmon to a three-year, $40 million contract, it was with the hopes that the veteran would help stretch the floor and open spacing for Marvin Bagley in the post.
Bagley broke his thumb in the season opener and Dedmon never quite found his shooting stroke. On Saturday evening, Kings general manager Vlade Divac sat down with the media to discuss the changes made at the NBA trade deadline, including the deal that sent Dedmon to the Atlanta Hawks.
“I don’t like, obviously, players or anybody to talk about stuff publically before things go through,” Divac said. “Definitely disappointed for me, for the organization and I’m sure from Dedmon’s side that things didn’t work. We had good intentions. He didn’t work out. We’re happy to move on and wish Dedmon all the best. Definitely, he wasn’t what we expected.”
The Kings were lucky to find a taker for the 30-year-old 7-footer. He averaged just 5.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and shot 19.7 percent from behind the arc in a Kings uniform.
Dedmon was outplayed during camp and again early in the season by Richaun Holmes, prompting coach Luke Walton to make a change in his starting lineup after just four games.
It cost the Kings two second-round draft picks to move on from Dedmon, but they also picked up Jabari Parker and Alex Len in the transaction. Parker is a player that Divac and his staff have had an eye on for a while and Len can fill some of the void left by Dedmon’s departure.
“Jabari - a player we’ve loved in the last couple of years and finally, we were able to get him on our team,” Divac said. “And Alex is a big guy that can block shots, set good screens, rebounds - things that we need to improve on our team.”
At 20-31, the Kings are not where they wanted to be. They came into the season with high hopes of snapping their 13-year playoff drought. There are still more than 30 games remaining in the season, but the hole the team has dug is deep.
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“I feel the same way, just like everybody else - I think we can do better,” Divac said. “Yes, injuries are part of it, but it didn’t go the way we wanted it to. So we’ve just got to fight.”
Parker is getting extremely close to a return after missing most of January with a shoulder impingement issue. He hopes to play on Monday, although the team has yet to comment on that possibility. Len isn’t far behind in his recovery from a hip flexor injury.