Over the last few years, the Sixers have watched as great Villanova players wound up elsewhere in the NBA - and in one instance even drafted one just to trade him away.
But now it seems an interesting former Wildcat wants to leave his current team, and the situation is a little dramatic.
Donte DiVincenzo, the Delaware native who won Final Four MOP during Villanova's 2018 title run, was traded from the champion Bucks to the Kings earlier this season. That's tough on its face, but apparently DiVincenzo also is none too pleased with the way his time in Sacramento is going.
Kings insider James Ham dropped this very spicy little nugget of information on the latest Kings Beat podcast:
"DiVincenzo and his group, his team, are not at all happy with the Kings. They believe that the Kings very specifically did not start him down the stretch of the season to limit his value in free agency.
"His team believes he'll be able to get [a mid-level exception] from somebody, and the Kings are probably hoping that he won't and they'll be able to go a little bit lower.
"We could see where DiVincenzo makes it widely known that he doesn't want to return to the Sacramento Kings."
Ooooh, that is caliente!
DiVincenzo, 25, has averaged 29.2 minutes per game over the last 10 games versus 25 minutes per game over his first 15 games with the Kings, so he's actually been playing more lately. And he's only started one game this season, a March win over the Bulls. So I'm not quite sure I understand this argument from DiVincenzo, unless he was led to believe he'd be getting starts late in the season once the Kings were eliminated from play-in contention.
That said, he feels how he feels! And it sounds like DiVincenzo wants to head elsewhere this offseason, despite being only a restricted free agent.
I won't pretend to understand mid-level exceptions. (I do know, thanks to PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck, that the Sixers signed Georges Niang using part of the non-taxpayer mid level exception. That's about it.)
But DiVincenzo is a very interesting player. He's averaging 8.8 points per game on some rough shooting from the floor (34.8%) but some acceptable three-point shooting (33.2%) and strong free throw shooting (85.5%). He's also averaging 4.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
His value was probably damaged a bit by the ankle injury he suffered last postseason, and the fact that he was buried behind so many good players in Milwaukee. Then you throw in being subjected to the Kings, and you have to imagine DiVincenzo won't be very expensive this offseason.
Should the Sixers take a look? Sure, why not? They need more athleticism and DiVincenzo brings that. He could also be a buy-low guy who turns into a pleasant surprise. Plus people love a local guy.
We'll see - but in any case it sure sounds like the Nova product will be on the move this offseason.