Vlade Divac has taken a beating for a few of his off-season decisions. The nay-sayers roasted him for dealing away Jason Thompson, Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas and a future first for cap space. He was mocked for giving Rajon Rondo a one-year $9.5 million deal, and he has even heard it for passing on talented young point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in favor of Kentucky big Willie Cauley-Stein. Divac and the Kings are a league-wide punching bag.

But games are never won on paper. Or the internet, for that matter.

You can argue that Divac reached for Cauley-Stein, but Mudiay blew the Kings off both in Chicago and in pre-draft workouts. You can say that Divac gave up too much to clear cap space, but he’s not the only one to hand over talent and picks to the 76ers for cap relief. You can say that Divac bid against himself to land the services of Rondo, but two seasons earlier, he would have cost twice as much on the open market. The fact is, George Karl needed talent in many shapes and sizes, and Divac delivered.

“On his (Karl’s) board in his office, he had DeMarcus (Cousins), Rudy (Gay) and Ben (McLemore) and a lot of holes,” Divac said. “He said, ‘Vlade, you’ve got to fill in.’ So I filled all of those holes and I’m very confident he’s going to make it happen. We have a lot of talent. We have a deep team. A lot of veterans (and) a lot of young guys that can learn from them.”