LAS VEGAS - In the past 24 hours, the Sacramento Kings have been active in shaping the roster, making a flurry of moves. First, they traded a second round pick in 2014 for forward James Johnson. Now, the team announced they’ve reached an agreement to sign free agent point guard Aaron Brooks, waiving center Hassan Whiteside in the process.
“He’s somebody that we’ve always liked,” said Kings president of Basketball of Operations Geoff Petrie of Brooks before the Kings’ summer league game against the Houston Rockets. “Going back to his original draft year. He had three outstanding years in Houston and just always thought he could play point guard, he could even play off the ball some. Great speed and quickness, and long-range shooting ability.”
Reaction from Keith Smart, Tyler Honeycutt and Alex English on the moves after the jump.
Smart on whether Brooks has been brought in to compete for starting point guard spot:
I’m trying to develop a team to where we can have multiple players play. I want to have a team that can play and win. Obviously, I’ve been around the NBA long enough that guys want to be locked in to when they’re going to play, how they’re going to play. But he had a decision to make that he could go another direction. Obviously, he felt what I said to him was fair. Exactly what I told you is what I told him – the way I’m trying to conform him and shape this team is that we can have 10 to 12 players trying to play on the basketball floor. Because the bottom line is that we’re just going to focus on how can we win games. Obviously, he felt that was the right thing for him and it worked out for us.
Video: Smart on contract agreement with Aaron Brooks, acquisition of James Johnson and waiving of Hassan Whiteside
Honeycutt on Whiteside
Honeycutt was one of Whiteside’s closest friends on the team. The Kings small forward says he was surprised by the move.
“It is what it is,” said Honeycutt. “It’s a team decision. That’s one of my closest friends on the team. So I feel for him…”
Honeycutt says he texted Whiteside after the move. The former Kings center didn’t say much, according to Honeycutt, but claimed he was fine.
English on Whiteside
Assistant Coach Alex English said he enjoyed working with Whiteside during his time in Sacramento. I asked English if parting with Whiteside was perhaps a result of the former Kings center’s questionable commitment to defense.
“He’s a seven footer,” said English. “He’s a shot blocker. That’s how he got his reputation – shot blocking, defense, rebounding – and that’s what you want from your seven footer. That’s what any coach would want from his seven footer if that’s his specialty.”