Vlade Divac steps down as Kings general manager

Vlade Divac has stepped down as general manager of the Sacramento Kings and will be replaced on an interim basis by Joe Dumars.

The Kings announced the move Friday, a day after they ended their 14th straight season without a playoff berth. That’s the longest active drought in the NBA and one shy of the record.

“This was a difficult decision, but we believe it is the best path ahead as we work to build a winning team that our loyal fans deserve,” Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said. “We are thankful for Vlade’s leadership, commitment and hard work both on and off the court. He will always be a part of our Kings family.”

Divac was initially hired by the Kings in March 2013 as vice president of basketball operations and franchise operations. He became general manager in August 2015 but was unable to get the Kings back into the playoffs.

He traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans in 2017 and made the decision to draft Marvin Bagley III second overall in 2018, one spot ahead of Luka Doncic.

The Kings went 39-43 in the 2018-19 season, showing progress under coach Dave Joerger. But the team fired Joerger after the season and replaced him with Luke Walton. Sacramento then went 31-41 this season.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the general manager for the Kings,” Divac said. “I want to thank Vivek for the opportunity and recognize all of the incredible colleagues who I had the great pleasure of working with during my tenure. Sacramento and the Kings will always hold a special place in my heart and I wish them all the best moving forward.”

Dumars was hired as a special adviser to Divac last June. He helped build a championship team in Detroit in 2004 and won the executive of the year award in 2002-03. He was replaced as GM by the Pistons after the 2013-14 season.

Dumars will help the Kings develop a long-term strategy for their basketball operations department and be part of the search for a full-time general manager.

“Joe has become a trusted and valued adviser since joining the team last year, and I am grateful to have him take on this role at an important time for the franchise,” Ranadivé said.

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