The Sacramento Kings, finally, seem on a healthy path to long-term legitimacy – and perhaps even contention. Perhaps sensing his team’s long-awaited upward trajectory, general manager Vlade Divac is ensuring the Kings’ young players will be put in the absolute best position possible to succeed.
In a story by Jason Jones of The Athletic, Divac explained that he’s prioritizing player development to a new degree by integrating Sacramento’s skills coaches from every brand of the organization during Las Vegas Summer League action.
“All our development coaches are here,” he said. “Rico (Hines), Bobby (Jackson) and Stacey (Augmon). And also Ty (Ellis), the coach of the Stockton Kings, are great out here. I talked to Luke (Walton) about it, my idea was to integrate the coaching staffs, too.”
The Kings boast one of the most promising cores of young players in basketball.
De’Aaron Fox broke out as a sophomore, establishing himself as a future star while single-handedly defining his team’s uptempo identity. Marvin Bagley III, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, consistently flashed last season en route to First Team All-Rookie honors. Buddy Hield is already one of the best off-ball guards in the league offensively. Bogdan Bogdanovic is perfectly suited as a top-tier playmaker off the bench, and Harry Giles, a former top-ranked high school recruit, made it clear during his debut season that he has impact player potential.
After going 39-43, ninth in the Western Conference, last season, few would be surprised if the Kings, under first-year coach Luke Walton, make the playoffs in 2019-20. It won’t happen without the continued development of young players, though, a reality Divac clearly understands.
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