Vlade Divac ready to make major moves as Kings enter important offseason


Vlade Divac ready to make major moves as Kings enter important offseason

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. It’s a mantra that has hung over the Sacramento Kings franchise for more than a decade. The day after a brutal loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in the season finale, there is a cloud hanging over the team once again.

Difficult decisions lie ahead for a franchise that finished with their best record since Rick Adelman exited stage left following the 2005-06 season.

The first order of business was quickly taken care of Thursday morning when the team announced a three-year extension for general manager Vlade Divac through the 2022-23.

It’s a well-deserved reward for the man who helped rebuild a franchise by making a handful of difficult decisions.

His first decision of the day appears to be the dismissal of assistant general manager Brandon Williams. Rumors have been heating up for the last 48 hours on Williams’ future with the team, but they are not new.

An early season run-in with head coach Dave Joerger caused a rift behind the scenes that has never truly been put aside. According to The Athletic’s Sam Amick, Divac is moving to consolidate power within the front office.

His next order of business is to decide the fate of Joerger, who posted a surprising 39-43 record, but saw his team struggle to a 9-17 record down the stretch as the team missed the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season.

Joerger has one year left on his contract at $5 million. According to Amick, part of Divac’s ascension in power comes with the ability to decide the fate of Joerger and his coaching staff.

Joerger became just the third coach in the Sacramento-era to win 39 or more games for the Kings. Gary St. Jean won 39 in back-to-back seasons in 04-05 and 05-06 and Adelman accomplished the feat eight straight times between 1998-2006.

Posting 39 wins for just the third time in 34 years since the team moved to Sacramento might not be enough.

After an exhaustive search by Divac for a new head coach in the summer of 2016, the Kings quickly jumped at the opportunity to add the former Grizzlies coach when he became available.

If Joerger is not retained, expect the Kings to once again jump into a deep dive into the NBA’s coaching circle. Sources have Spurs assistant coach Ettore Messina high on Divac’s wish list.

The 59-year-old has spent the last five years working under Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

[RELATED: Kings finish once promising season on low notes]

Prepare for a whirlwind of activity as the Kings attempt to sure up continuity inside of their organization heading into a very important summer. They have an up and coming young team and $38 million in cap space to spend.

Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey


Kings fan makes good on pledge, gets married in Harry Giles jersey

Whenever Richard and Kate Ivanowski look at their wedding photos, they will think of Kings forward Harry Giles.

That's because Richard got married to Kate this weekend while wearing a Giles jersey under his suit jacket.

Why did Richard wear a Giles jersey during his wedding? This all came about in early June when he asked his then-fiancé if he could wear a Kings jersey during their wedding. She said yes, but only if he got 10,000 retweets on Twitter.

It took about one day for Richard to hit the 10,000 retweet mark.

So, this weekend, Richard and Kate got hitched with a Giles jersey visible in their photos.

Giles himself was pretty pumped about it.

[RELATED: How Giles helped Ivanowski's plan wedding]

A few decades from now, when Richard and Kate are showing their wedding photos to their grandkids, they'll have to explain who Giles is and why his jersey was a part of their wedding.

That will be a unique story to tell.

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

Source: Kings unlikely to pursue free agent center Nikola Vucevic

SACRAMENTO -- The rumor mill is only going to heat up as we approach the start of the NBA’s free agency period on June 30. With $35-38 million to spend, the Sacramento Kings are going to get mentioned plenty, and often the reports will be inaccurate.

Vlade Divac and his team have placed an emphasis on improving the center position, but according to a league source, while the team holds Nikola Vucevic in high regard, the team is not expected to chase the Orlando Magic big man in free agency, despite reports to the contrary.

After posting 20.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.1 blocks per game this season, Vucevic is primed to sign a mega contract, whether it’s with the Orlando or elsewhere.

The 28-year-old is skilled and made his first All-Star team this season, but he’s not a great fit for the Kings’ uptempo style of play.

There are plenty of other centers on the market this summer. Dewayne Dedmon and DeAndre Jordan are both unrestricted free agents and might work as short-term fixes. Jordan is on the wrong side of 30 and Dedmon isn’t far behind, but both are solid rebounders and defenders.

Memphis Grizzlies big man Jonas Valanciunas just opted out of his contract for this season and is an unrestricted free agent. At 27-year-old he fits the age arc of the Kings’ roster, but again, isn’t exactly built for an uptempo style.

The team hasn’t shut the door on a return of the incumbent starter, Willie Cauley-Stein. He is long and athletic, but his inconsistent play continues to concern the Kings.

[RELATED: How Lakers' Davis trade impacts Kings]

Sacramento is likely to extend the 25-year-old a qualifying offer before the beginning of free agency, locking him into restricted free agent status. They will wait to see how the market materializes for the former No. 6 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft before making a final decision on his future with the team.