Divac heading back to Lakers
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – The Los Angeles Lakers signed unrestricted
free agent center Vlade Divac to a two-year contract. As per team policy,
financial terms of the deal were not released, but reports have the contract
worth almost $5 million per year.
The 36-year-old Serbian, who played the past six years in Sacramento, began
his career with the Lakers after being chosen with the 26th overall pick in
the 1989 NBA Draft.
After seven years in Los Angeles, Divac was dealt to the Charlotte Hornets in
July 1996 for the draft rights of current Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant. The
7-foot-1 Divac spent two years in Charlotte before joining the Sacramento
Kings as a free agent in January 1999 where he played for six campaigns.
Divac, a 2001 All-Star, averaged 9.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in
81 regular-season games last season for the Kings. In 12 playoff contests,
Divac posted 6.6 points and 4.9 boards per game.
Sacramento ousted Dallas in five games in the first-round of the playoffs, but
was eliminated in seven games by Minnesota in the Western Conference
Divac’s best season came in 1994-95 when he averaged 16.0 points, 10.4
rebounds and 4.1 assists. For his career, which spans 1,119 games, Divac has
netted 11.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest.
A member of the 1988 and 1996 Olympic silver medal-winning Yugoslavian
National Teams, Divac is one of only three players in NBA history (Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon) to amass 13,000 points (13,364), 9,000
rebounds (9,294), 3,000 assists (3,522) and 1,500 blocked shots (1,630).
The Lakers were in need of a big man after dealing former MVP center Shaquille
O’Neal to the Miami Heat for Lamar Odom, Brian Grant, Caron Butler and a
first-round draft pick.