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Report: Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac disagree on who the best SG on the roster is

Our old pal Ric Bucher is at it again. Can his 'sources' be trusted? Maybe. Probably not. But maybe?

If you've been following the Sacramento Kings closely for the last decade or so, you've learned to question Ric Bucher's reporting. The following information is coming from Ric Bucher's sources. I'm just getting that disclaimer out of the way now.

Bucher dropped a new Kings report on Sunday as part of Bleacher Report's 30 teams, 30 days: The biggest story from each NBA team ahead of the league's return feature. Bucher spent most of his time in the column replaying the greatest hits of Sacramento Kings incompetence since Vivek Ranadive purchased the team in 2013. I can't totally fault him for that as I often find myself replaying those same errors when I think about this franchise.

There are a few mildly interesting notes in there. Bucher's anonymous source claims that Vivek Ranadive is really struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests that the coronavirus saved Vlade Divac's job. We know Ranadive wasn't thrilled with how the Kings were performing at the start of the 2019-20 season, and replacing Divac at the end of the year was possibly on the table, so despite this report coming from a Bucher source, it seems plausible.

Bucher also reports through anonymous league sources that the front office in Sacramento is still unstable. Sure, probably.

Beneath the surface, though, league sources say the front office is even more unstable than that might suggest.

But I thought Bucher's most interesting nugget was an apparent disagreement between Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac on who the best shooting guard on the roster is.

Another underlying problem is an apparent difference of opinion between Divac and Ranadive on who the team's best shooting guard is. Ranadive's admiration for Hield has not diminished, league sources say, and Bogdanovic is one of Divac's shrewdest acquisitions. Oh, and he's Serbian. Caught in the middle is Walton, who made the decision to bring Hield off the bench and start Bogdanovic.

Ranadive and Divac disagreeing on a player isn't necessarily notable without context. Personnel disagreements happen in every front office, but this particular disagreement in Sacramento does shed new light on an important decision the Kings will have to make in a few short months.

The Kings signed Buddy Hield to a 4-year, $94 million contract extension in October 2019 coming off of a season where Hield cemented himself as one of the leagues very best shooters. You don't sign that kind of player to that kind of contract with the intention of bringing him off the bench, but that's been Buddy's role for most of the 2019-20 season.

It's important to note here that Hield has had several issues with how Walton has used him this year.

Hield's replacement in the starting lineup, Bogdan Bodganovic, is set to hit restricted free agency when the 2019-20 season concludes. The Kings can match any offer made to their starting guard, but Bogi has the luxury of entering free agency accompanied by a historically weak free agent class. Several teams will be interested in his services, and they'll be willing to pay a lot for them.

The Kings have Buddy Hield under contract, and they more or less control what Bogdan Bodganovic can do in free agency, but if Ranadive and Divac aren't on the same page like Bucher reports, this could get messy in a hurry.

This is purely speculative on my part, but I don't get the sense that Buddy Hield is thrilled with a long-term bench role. I feel less sure about Bogdanovic's preference, but in a general sense, the best players on a team enjoy starting, and the status that comes with it. Both Bogdanovic and Hield are certainly talented enough to start, so it's not as if either side would be unreasonable to prefer that role.

How the Kings solve the shooting guard conundrum is the single most fascinating decision the organization will make in the offseason, and if Ranadive and Divac are already picking sides, buckle up.

 

 

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PoundTheRock
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July 27, 2020 10:08 am

Re-sign Bodgan. I swear, if we lose Harry AND Bogi this offseason… pathetic.

Adamsite
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Nostradumbass 14
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July 27, 2020 10:09 am

It seems the “dismissive little chap” still hasn’t learned how to keep his fingers off of basketball operations. Wouldn’t it be something if digs his heals in and refuses to ok the re-signing Bogi this summer just so he can get his way with Buddy? I wouldn’t put it past him.

Adamsite
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July 27, 2020 10:29 am
Reply to  TonyXypteras

I was thinking the other day, does Petrie deserve an entry to the basketball hall of fame? He was ROY, 2 time all-star, and 2 time executive of the year. If he didn’t have a career ending knee surgery, he likely would have been and NBA champion on the 77′ team. His post playing career in the NBA might give him and edge?

Amonk81
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July 27, 2020 2:49 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Vivek and Vlade are horrible at what they do. Nothing has changed. Fuck these guys. I’ve lost patience or hope years ago. This is exactly like The DC football team I barely support. They fired Bruce but Snyder is still there fucking things up.
 
it makes me mad that Vivek can simply run this ship into the ground.
 
oh, and F Matt George or anyone else pretending rather than hearing and speaking the truth.

Marty
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July 27, 2020 10:14 am

His report is today’s hit piece with yesterday’s content.

docholmes
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July 27, 2020 10:26 am

Would Vlade really have been out this season? Last year’s extension says to me that Vivek was willing to give Vlade more leash and more time.

Klam
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July 27, 2020 10:32 am
Reply to  docholmes

There was a report from Sam Amick on a podcast around February where he said Vivek hadn’t gotten over the passing of Luka, and that he was actually considering replacing Vlade at the end of the season. And that report from Shams about ownership being frustrated with the season, as expressed in group texts.

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 10:50 am
Reply to  Klam

Group texts in a management group in which Vivek’s son, who also went with the team to scout Luka in Europe, played a prominent role, IIRC.

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:33 am
Reply to  RikSmits

BREAKING: Kings fire Vlade Divac, promote Aneel Ranadive to GM.
 

docholmes
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July 27, 2020 11:22 am
Reply to  Klam

Yeah, I don’t blame Vivek for not being over Luka since I’m still not 🙁

Klam
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July 27, 2020 11:39 am
Reply to  docholmes

I don’t think I ever will be either.

NoRedJerseys
July 28, 2020 12:22 am
Reply to  Klam

So we’re supposed to believe that Vlade picked Bagley over the wishes of Vivek? I doubt that.

Otis
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July 27, 2020 1:56 pm
Reply to  docholmes

Extensions mean nothing to these dummies. They get way too excited for moderate/sporadic success. We were paying like twelve head coaches at one point.

Klam
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July 27, 2020 10:28 am

comment image

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:34 am
Reply to  Klam

…I’m taking my Kings medicine
 comment image

Klam
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July 27, 2020 11:41 am
Reply to  Kosta

Who’s running this Kings team?
 comment image?itemid=17740508

RobHessing
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July 27, 2020 12:26 pm
Reply to  Klam

comment image
We’re Shtupped.

Klam
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July 27, 2020 1:39 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

These coaches, man.
 comment image

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 1:56 pm
Reply to  Klam

 comment image

Klam
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July 27, 2020 3:01 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Michael Malone getting stabbed in the back?

AirmaxPG
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July 27, 2020 10:40 am

Can we like petition the league or something to take a look at this? Vivek’s leadership is embarrassing. And if we’re doomed to more years of Vlade because he can’t financially hack it anymore, then aren’t we pretty much back to the last few years of the Magoofs?

Adamsite
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July 27, 2020 10:45 am
Reply to  AirmaxPG

I’d wager that Vlade is already one of the lowest paid GMs in the league, if not the lowest. If firing him is too much of a cost burden to the franchise, the Kings are in a world of hurt with the lack of revenue this year and likely next. We may need to prepare ourselves when Vivek insists on letting Bogi walk for nothing this offseason.

AirmaxPG
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July 27, 2020 10:57 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Wouldn’t even need to fire him. Just bring in someone like Troy Weaver to “help out” with BB Ops, and slowly give him more and more responsibility until eventually he’s the guy. You know, kind of like how Vlade got the job in the first place.

Adamsite
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July 27, 2020 11:41 am
Reply to  AirmaxPG

But that would still demand spending more money. I also think the optics of it would be very bad, just like when Vivek brought in Vlade to “help out” Pete. If he repeated that maneuver, then I would really think that he doesn’t learn from mistakes.

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 11:49 am
Reply to  AirmaxPG

How much is Joe Dumars making, and for what, exactly?

Adamsite
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July 27, 2020 12:04 pm
Reply to  RikSmits

Is he still working for the Kings?

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 12:08 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

Follow up question: Is Vlade working for the Kings?
 

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
Roaddog
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July 27, 2020 1:07 pm
Reply to  Adamsite

he is listed in the media guide as special advisor to the gm. and I quote :
 
“In this role, Dumars will report to General Manager Vlade Divac and will serve as a resource to the front office.”

AirmaxPG
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July 27, 2020 10:42 am

And does Vivek even watch the games? We all know Buddy is a great shooter, but anyone who sees the game can easily realize his very glaring limitations.

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 10:51 am
Reply to  AirmaxPG

Sorry, what was that? I only got the Buddy is a great shooter-part.” – Vivek Ranadive, probably

RAP87
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July 27, 2020 10:43 am

Looks like one of Buddy or Bogdan wouldn’t be back next season. My preference is trading Buddy and fetch a quality SF (thinking about Tobias Harris especially if he does not play well this coming playoffs with the sixers) and re-sign Bogdan. Use our own pick for Buddys replacement (Hayes, Vassell, Green, Maxey).
 
But with the reports of Viveks infatuation with Buddy, I guess Bogdan is the one who won’t be back next season which sucks! Still hoping both will be back next season though.
 
 

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 10:52 am
Reply to  RAP87

Harris’ contract is way too rich to have him play behind DQ Jeffries.

Chent
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July 27, 2020 12:23 pm
Reply to  RAP87

I’ve mentioned this a few times, I would be down for a Hield/Joseph for Harris. But knowing the financial situation is so murky, I doubt that 35+ mil a year Harris is making for the next few years is of any interest to the Kings.

BestHyperboleEver
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July 27, 2020 12:39 pm
Reply to  Chent

Nor should it be. It’s among the very worst contracts in the game and he doesn’t add any of the playmaking/creation or defensive skills the Kings desperately need.

RandyBreuersNeckHair
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July 27, 2020 10:53 am

It all depends on if Walton figures out how to use Buddy. If he continues to use him as a playmaker, no thanks. Just get the guy open shots. It shouldn’t be that difficult.
Overall, I’m of the opinion that Bogi offers more overall. I just wish he wouldn’t morph into Ballhog Ballhogovich so often.

Klam
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July 27, 2020 10:55 am

Man, if only we had a coach that knew how to play Buddy correctly…..

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 11:07 am
Reply to  Klam

But he shouted at him once and was mean to him!

BestHyperboleEver
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July 27, 2020 12:43 pm

I have no idea if Walton knows how to use Buddy. It certainly doesn’t look like it. But the fact remains that the Kings don’t have enough playmakers. As such, some players that don’t excel in the room are going to have to play the role at times. It’s clear that Buddy should just being running off screens and repositioning all day, but that’s a luxury that’s tough to stick to when you don’t have enough guys that can get him the ball at the right time and place.
 
In short, what I’m saying is:
A. Buddy is limited
B. Walton is using him wrong
C. Divac has put together a roster that exacerbates B which exposes A.
 

Last edited 2 years ago by BestHyperboleEver
RobHessing
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July 27, 2020 11:22 am

“Bucher!”comment imagecomment image

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July 27, 2020 11:42 am
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RobHessing
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July 27, 2020 11:57 am
Reply to  Klam

Could be worse. Vlade could get a four year extension.comment image

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:26 am

Who’s got the upper hand? Go Bogi Hield, go!!!
 comment image
 comment image
 

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 11:30 am
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You see how they avoid eye contact? Lot’s of bad blood there, obviously.

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:43 am
Reply to  RikSmits

They won’t even touch hands!
 comment image

ZillersCat
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July 27, 2020 12:18 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Smart Smart Smart!
 
 

Last edited 2 years ago by ZillersCat
Murf
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July 27, 2020 11:38 am

Ric Bucher aside, is this story any real surprise? I got the impression that the Kings were always going to deal Buddy as the stories had been leaked to local media to prepare the ground. Be it Buddy can only shoot, is a limited player etc.
 
Who knows who said what, sadly does it really matter. Who do you trust more Vlade or Vivek? Is there someone else (anyone else please)

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:39 am

I love both guys and will be sad to see either of them leave.
 
If it counts for anything though, Buddy can play almost an entire season without injuries while Bogi has had some injuries while here with the Kings.

RikSmits
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July 27, 2020 11:51 am
Reply to  Kosta

Nice dig at Bagley, you sneak.

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 11:57 am
Reply to  RikSmits

I mean, we could cut both Bogi and Buddy and put Bagley in at SG.

jdwhit
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July 27, 2020 9:21 pm
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If Bol Bol can play Small Forward, Bagley can play Shooting Guard. #FACTS

BestHyperboleEver
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July 27, 2020 1:23 pm
Reply to  Kosta

I like them both and think they both have a role to play on a theoretical good team. But the Kings need to find a way to acquire high level playmakers, and if the road to doing that includes losing Hield and/or Bogdan so be it.

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 1:36 pm

I imagine Buddy would’ve been looking great playing alongside THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY.
 
Hopefully Buddy doesn’t end up in Dallas and show us what that looks like.
 comment image
 

BestHyperboleEver
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July 27, 2020 1:43 pm
Reply to  Kosta

Pretty much everybody on that team is shooting well above their career average from three. Buddy would be shooting at least 45%. Might be closer to peak Korver territory.
 

Last edited 2 years ago by BestHyperboleEver
fire_voisin
July 27, 2020 11:49 am

Apparently Vivek is trying to raise money from investors who would trust him to find a private company to merge/acquire. Insert your own joke here https://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2020/07/22/bay-area-blank-check-from-sacramento-kings-owner.html

Kosta
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July 27, 2020 12:00 pm
Reply to  fire_voisin

BREAKING: Kings rename arena
 
GOLDEN ONE POWER BALANCE ARCO PAVILLION
 

Last edited 2 years ago by Kosta
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July 27, 2020 12:10 pm
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Sacto_J
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July 27, 2020 1:15 pm

I say we keep Bogi, Buddy and retain Divac as consultant to the new GM, and cut Vivek. And Dumars (assuming he’s still around.) Also, what exactly does Peja do? No offense, but I feel like we could probably relegate him to Vlade’s assistant / barista if we’re not going to employ him as a shooting coach.

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July 27, 2020 7:04 pm
Reply to  Sacto_J

The report said that Vivek has also been consulting with Hinkie! Maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel after all!

jlandweh
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July 27, 2020 4:08 pm

Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a second.
 
Bogi is the much better overall player and will likely be on a better, team friendly contract when he is resigned (possibly 4/50). Bogi is a better ball handler, rebounder, defender, and passer.
 
However; I think this team really needs Buddy because of his scoring, spacing, and shooting. Buddy can drop 22 fairly consistently in today’s NBA. If the Kings lose that, they won’t be able to score enough to keep pace with the league.
 
I love Bogi but his inconsistent shooting really frustrates me. Therefore, I’d prefer to re-sign and trade Bogi for a young backup PG or young starting 3/D player.
 
Ive always liked guys like Monte Morris, Malik Beasley, healthy Caris Lavert, or maybe even Marcus Smart etc. If we could package some guys for Beal, Middleton, or McCollum…that would be nice but complete fantasy land.

BeTheBall
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July 27, 2020 11:04 pm

Plot twist, Divac thinks Bagley is the best SG on the roster.

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