The Sacramento Kings were busy at the trade deadline, as the team was involved in a deal that saw George Hill go to Cleveland. Additionally, the Kings decided to part ways with 2016 first-round draft pick Georgios Papagiannis by waiving him, a move that sent the 20-year-old big man’s agent into a fit of rage.
It turns out Sacramento’s front office had an idea. As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN explained in his piece on the Cavs’ hectic trade deadline, the Kings wanted to combine those two moves and ship Papagiannis to either Cleveland or Utah in the trade involving those squads.
There was just one problem: No one in the Cavs or Jazz’s front office knew of Utah’s intentions. Wojnarowski reported the teams agreed in earnest on a deal, but thanks to a memo at 3 a.m. on the day of the deadline, the whole thing was thrown into a state of limbo. It stemmed from the power structure in Sacramento being, well, let’s call it unique.
Altman had negotiated the trade with Kings assistant general manager Brandon Williams, who works under GM Vlade Divac. The management structure in Sacramento can make deals dicey, because Divac seldom gets on the phone for the trade-building parts — and yet he ultimately has decision-making power with owner Vivek Ranadive.
That’s why a 3 a.m. ET deal memo sent from Sacramento to Cleveland left Altman at first incredulous — and then angry. Suddenly, Kings center Georgios Papagiannis had been included as part of the three-way trade. Cleveland and Utah were adamant that Papagiannis’ name had never been discussed. Williams would later say that Papagiannis or Malachi Richardson were set to be included in the deals and insisted his notes confirmed that.