The Sacramento Kings and director of player personnel and analytics Dean Oliver are parting ways, according to multiple media reports.
Sportando.com first reported the move, which was confirmed by CSN California’s Bill Herenda. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported the Kings were searching for a new analytics guru, and that newly hired Kings vice president of basketball and franchise operations Vlade Divac was seeking to assemble “his own hand-picked front office,” possibly including former Kings All-Star Peja Stojakovic.
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive hand-picked Oliver, who previously worked in analytics for ESPN, as the franchise’s director of player personnel and analytics in Sept. 2014.
Divac, however, reportedly told Oliver not to attend the Kings’ NBA Summer League games and practices this month. From Sportando.com:
Oliver was in attendance anyway and was seen with King coaches. Oliver was not permitted to be there in his official capacity with the team.
Divac has told confidants that he is strongly opposed to the use of analytics in evaluating players, and has halted all communication with Oliver.
The Kings finished 29–53 last season and missed the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season. In February, the team hired George Karl as head coach and finished the season 11–19 in Karl’s 30 games.
Last month, reports suggested Ranadive conspired firing Karl over rumored friction between Karl and franchise center DeMarcus Cousins.
- Mike Fiammetta