Sunday Musings: Chatting with Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro

Pete-D'Alessandro

Seventeen months ago, Pete D’Alessandro took over a rudderless team lacking talent depth.  Only two players remain from that initial group as the Sacramento Kings general manager has retooled a roster filled with bloated contracts and underperforming assets.

Not every move has turned out perfectly.  D’Alessandro isn’t King Midas, but the early results have been impressive.  Sacramento is off to a fast start, despite fielding a core that has been together less than two months.

D’Alessandro is a risk taker.  He thinks outside the box and his ownership group, led by Vivek Ranadivé, is willing to back his play.

Whether you love his early transactions or not, D’Alessandro has taken the criticism in stride. The massive trade that brought in Rudy Gay from the Raptors was viewed by many as a rookie move.  And the decision to allow Isaiah Thomas to walk, while replacing him with veteran Darren Collison nearly started a riot in Sacramento.

Neither of these moves are being questioned now.  The inking of Gay to a three-year, $40 million extension on Wednesday is now being considered a coup by many of the same people who snubbed their noses at Sacramento’s front office last December.  Instead of DeMarcus Cousins and a group of marginal veterans, the Kings now have two All-Star-level talents to build around.

Joining Cousins and Gay in the hierarchy of the club is Collison, who is a big reason the Kings are off to a 8-5 start, despite a brutal early season schedule.

The signing of Collison wasn’t popular in the media.  But the point guard’s newly formed bandwagon is quickly filling up.  He is the floor general the Kings were looking for and a quality two-way player.  He has the ear of Cousins, and his 30-5 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last three outings doesn’t hurt either.

D’Alessandro is doing it his way.  He is thoughtful, but unapologetic.  His Kings are off to a shocking start, but the job is far from complete.  This is not the finished product that will walk into a new building before the 2016-17 season, and it’s probably not the same group of 13 players that will finish the second half of the season.

Following the Kings’ 103-88 win over the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, D’Alessandro sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Cowbell Kingdom.

We could cut the quotes into sound bites and leave you wanting more, but instead, here is Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro in podcast form.

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About: James Ham

James Ham is the senior editor of Cowbell Kingdom, providing extensive Kings coverage through news analysis, in-depth interviews with players and staff and daily coverage of breaking news since 2010. Along with providing original content for the site, including the Cowbell Kingdom Podcast and his weekly Sunday Musings column, James also contributes to ESPN.com and is one of the producers behind the award-winning, independent documentary film "Small Market, Big Heart".