I really want my idol, my namesake, my brosef, my lord and savior Vlade Divac to succeed as general manager of the Sacramento Kings. It was 20 NBA Drafts ago that the Charlotte Hornets traded 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft Kobe Bryant to the Los Angeles Lakers for the services of the great Vlade Divac. To commemorate possibly the single worst draft day trade in NBA history, I repped one of my prized Vlade possessions yesterday afternoon:
I repped it Vlade. I repped it hard. And then I turn on the draft and here you are:
— theschmozone (@schmozone) June 23, 2016
Georgios Papa John’s or however the f*** you say it. Really? Did Kosta Koufos make that pick for you? An 18-year-old, 7’2″ Greek center who — even if he turns out to be any good somehow — won’t be for like at least four years, probably more. It’s funny that I’m even pretending that this guy could be any good at any point in his career. Let’s be real. Guys like this don’t turn out good. Like ever. Point to Kristaps Porzingis all you want as an example of some giant European guy with a bright future in the NBA, but he’s not Kristaps Porzingis. He’s not Dragan Bender either. He was barely on the draft lottery radar. This guy’s ceiling is Nikoloz Tskitishvili. Tibor Pleiss maybe. I would love to look back on this post in 12 years and be like “remember when I wrote that about the great “Papa George?” I highly doubt that happens though.
Things were kinda, sorta looking up for the Kings. DeMarcus Cousins didn’t murder George Karl during his coaching tenure and now former Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger is running the ship who is a good hire all things considered. The Kings are getting a new arena. New logo. New uniforms. New beginning. They aren’t being re-located to a different city! Then this s***. DeMarcus Cousins is 26! His prime is now! He is not going to just sit there like he’s waiting at a goddamn bus stop for the bus that isn’t going to show up for six years. Thoughts Boogie?
Lord give me the strength 🙏🏿
— DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) June 24, 2016
Boogie’s f****** mad again. Took a whole two months. He’s going to be having his “my new puppy just got hit by a car” look on the court again as team’s bludgeon him in the paint and Ben McLemore launches errant three-point jumpers from the corner.
The Kings really had the 8th pick in this draft and took Marquese Chriss out of Washington. I’d be lying if I said I knew much about him before he draft, but he’s a super athletic 6-foot-10 forward with a 7-foot wingspan. It was basically the classic, “let’s hope he turns out more Greek Freak and less Anthony Randolph” type of pick. He may have been a complete gamble, but it’s worth it for a Kings team that will need some luck on their side to prevent wasting away DeMarcus Cousins’ entire career with the team. Maybe, just maybe, you catch lightning in a bottle and stumble upon a superstar player ready to contribute in the near future.
The Kings obviously traded Chriss though as Vlade and company sent him over to the Suns for the 13th overall pick (Papa John’s), the 28th overall pick (Skal Labissierie out of Kentucky), a future second round pick (whose name will be hard to pronounce), and the rights to Bogdan Bogdanovic. Not BOJAN BOGDANOVIC, the Nets guard who dropped one of the most random 40-point games on the Sixers in recent memory, but BOGDAN BOGDANOVIC whose parents obviously couldn’t think of a suitable first name and just decided to use the first six letters of their last name to name little baby Bogdan.
I’ve long said that the Kings won’t truly realize their potential as a team until they get rid of Rudy Gay — the same way in which both the Raptors and Grizzlies got better after unloading the “star.” Gay is a pure stats guy and headliner of the “Rudy Gay All-Stars,” the team I created to honor guys who put up nice stats and have nice skill sets yet just aren’t winning players (i.e. Monta Ellis, Greg Monroe). There’s still hope for the Kings if they get a team to bite and ship Gay off for a nice package of players. Nothing in this draft indiciated that Vlade and the Kings are prepared to do the smart thing though and it’s unclear how a once again disgruntled Cousins would react to unloading Gay. The Kings also acquired Malachi Richardson out of Syracuse with the 22nd overall pick, who could end up being good, but they had to trade a proven player off the bench in Marco Belinelli to the Hornets in order to do so. It’s definitely not a move that will help them in the immediate future though and Boogie’s understandably not going to be too patient before demanding a trade.
Oh Vlade … what am I going to do with you? I can’t defend this anymore. I just can’t.