And then there were eight. The Sacramento Kings walked into the 2017-18 season with 10 young players on rookie scale contracts. That number was reduced by two at the trade deadline with former first-round selections Georgios Papagiannis and Malachi Richardson leaving the franchise. It was a bold move by Vlade Divac and assistant general manager Brandon Williams. Giving up on two young players that you invested picks and nearly two years in development isn’t easy. It was also the right move. “We wish both kids nothing but the best,” Vlade Divac said Friday morning. “I think it was a plan to develop the group that we have, moving forward and creating a little bit more flexibility.” Not every player taken in an NBA Draft develops at the right pace. Not every player taken in the NBA Draft is an NBA player. By moving away from two young players, the Kings acknowledged that they are willing to make difficult moves. They also acknowledged that they are willing to take the criticism that goes comes with that decision. “It was a tough decision, but as a GM, you have to sometimes make tough decisions,” Divac added. Taken with the 13th overall selection in the 2016 draft, Papagiannis struggled to earn any rotational minutes with the Kings. At 7-foot-1, 240-pounds, the 20-year-old out of Greece might have come into the league in the wrong era.
Kings make tough, but correct decisions at the trade deadline
NBC Sports Bay Area | Feb 12