Sacramento Kings Vice President of Basketball Operations and general manager Vlade Divac announced he attempted to pry Nuggets cornerstone Nikola Jokic off the hands of the Denver Nuggets in exchange for ex-Kings center DeMarcus Cousins.

In an interview with European media outlet, Blick Sports, Divac acknowledged he tried to get Jokic, as well as other promising rising stars in the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker and Los Angeles Lakers’ Brandon Ingram, in exchange for Cousins.

The article was written in Serbian with an excerpt translating to the following:

“There was no way that we (could get) Jokic. I wanted him, but (Denver refused),” Divac said. I tried to get Booker in Phoenix, and Ingram from the Lakers but there was no chance. I wanted to start from the beginning and I think that’s for the best.”

Jokic has taken the NBA world by storm as of late, averaging 15.7, 8.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season.

His wicked passing ability mixed with superb court vision make him one of the most promising budding stars in the league, and by no means is someone the Nuggets organization is willing to part with, even for someone with the skill set of DeMarcus Cousins.

Cousins wound up being traded to the New Orleans Pelicans to link forces with fellow star Anthony Davis. The Nuggets currently hold sole possession of the Western Conference’s 8th and final playoff seed, leading the Kings by one a half games and the Pelicans by three and a half games for the final spot.

The future is now in Denver and Jokic is a big reason why. The Nuggets organization is building around the Serbian, and envision him as the next face of the franchise.

(H/T Adam Mares,