Following the conclusion of the 2016-17 campaign, the attention now shifts forward for the Sacramento Kings.
On Thursday, Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations Vlade Divac and head coach Dave Joerger addressed media at Golden 1 Center to discuss their thoughts on the recently concluded season as well as what lies ahead.
Divac opened with how he felt about the team’s recent performances and the positives he drew from their games.
“The way we played, the way we shared the ball – the guys had fun and they were playing together. That’s exactly what I [wanted to] see for our team.” said Divac. “Coach [Joerger] did a great job and I’m so happy and proud of him and the way he coached those kids.”
Sacramento currently boasts a promising core of young talent, including four players who just finished their rookie campaigns. The likes of Skal Labissiere, Buddy Hield, Georgios Papagiannis, and Malachi Richardson all found ways to contribute for the Kings during their inaugural seasons.
“The first part of the season [the rookies] spent more time up [in Reno],” said Divac. “When we felt like they were ready to step on an NBA court, they came here [to the Kings] and really grabbed the opportunity.”
“We played competitive minutes all season long,” said Joerger. “The younger guys didn’t get free minutes. They earned their minutes.”
Coach Joerger also took time to praise the veterans on the team this season.
“I thought they were classy in the way that they handled it,” Joerger said. “Day in and day out, helping the young guys, holding them accountable.”
In addition to the existing pieces, the Kings will have more opportunities to continue bolstering the roster through both the NBA Draft and free agency this summer. Coach Joerger also touched on how he and Divac will work together to maximize efforts of bringing in new talent.
“[Vlade’s] steering the ship and making player personnel decisions but we work together where I have certain input,” said Joerger. “It’s ongoing conversations about what’s best for the team.”
Towards the end of the season, Divac was pleased with the team’s play and viewed it as an indicator of what’s to come.
“Like a lot of people saw in the last 20 games, we are in the direction that we really want to be [going],” said Divac. “With a young team that develops every day, every game, moving forward, it’s a bright future. I’m excited.”