To replace all-star center Shaquille O'Neal, the Los Angeles Lakers have turned to the player O'Neal replaced as their center -- 36-year-old Vlade Divac, who has played the last six seasons with the rival Sacramento Kings.
Divac, among the first Eastern Europeans to become an established NBA star, will sign with the Lakers for about $5 million, according to the Riverside-Press Enterprise.
The Lakers and Kings declined to comment.
In an interview last week, Divac's agent, Marc Fleisher, said that the Lakers were "definitely interested" in the 7-foot-1, 260-pound Divac.
"I've had discussions with [Lakers General Manager] Mitch Kupchak, who is a close personal friend of Vlade's," said Fleisher. "[Divac] is a player the team obviously knows well."
In the past two weeks, the Lakers have said goodbye to stalwart players O'Neal and guard Derek Fisher. In exchange for O'Neal, the Lakers received forwards Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Caron Butler.
Divac, who played for the Lakers from 1989 to 1996, has a reputation for being an unselfish passer and skilled shooter who averaged 9.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists a game this past season.
As for Divac's durability as he heads into his 16th year in the NBA, he has played no fewer than 80 games in each of the past five seasons. By comparison, O'Neal has played in no more than 67 games in any of the last three.
Divac has brought the Lakers luck in the past. The team traded him to the Charlotte Hornets in 1996 for the draft rights to Kobe Bryant.
In Divac's second season in Los Angeles, the Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals, losing to the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls in five games.
-- Greg Sandoval