When it comes to season grades, it’s not only players who will find themselves under the limelight as we’re looking at the front office as well.
General manager Pete D’Alessandro was given the keys to the Kings franchise this past offseason and the results seem to look pretty good on paper. But does that translate into a good grade?
We won’t know for sure how well Pete did for a while (does Rudy stay? Was McLemore the correct selection? Was Landry a wise signing?), but the best thing about his first season was his aggression. I had serious concerns about Rudy’s long term fit for this team, but Pete correctly made that gamble and it paid off. It’s easy to see he understands the limitations of a small market franchise, and he’s figuring out ways to work around it. More than anyone, this offseason will be huge for him with all the looming decisions.
The one thing you have to admire about PDA is his willingness to shake things up. The old regime truly didn’t care, and PDA represented a fresh face committed to righting the Sacramento ship.
At the time, some of his deals made sense, but stepping back after a year to evaluate, it really was a mixed bag for PDA. Whether he stays our not, the Rudy Gay trade was terrific — the Kings cleared out some dead weight and took a low-risk look at a player with star potential. Gay, as well as Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray, were solid additions on and off the court.
After that, it gets a little sketchy for PDA, starting in the offseason. After missing out on some bigger name free agents (Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon), PDA overreacted by signing Carl Landry, who regardless of health is an overpaid player at a well-stocked position. The Tyreke Evans sign-and-trade was understandable, but in the deal, the Kings basically gave away Robin Lopez, a player who could have been a solid pairing for DeMarcus Cousins down low.
During the year, the Derrick Williams deal appeared to be a nice maneuver, buying low on another talented player. But the Kings are no closer to figuring out how to use D-Will, and the forward is due close to $7 million this year, a big number for a team with considerable roster questions. Trading Marcus Thornton to Brooklyn was of little consequence, but the Kings got smaller, more manageable contracts in the deal and cleared the way for Ben McLemore.
It would be foolish to condemn PDA after one year. He’s clearly an advanced thinker who will work hard to make the Kings contenders. His first year had its hits and misses, but he’s the right man for the job.
This is probably one of the more difficult grades for me to asses so far, namely because Pete was thrown into a nearly impossible scenario. That said, he made some wonderful moves like the acquisition of Rudy Gay – even if not in a basketball sense – but financially. Then there were some moves that weren’t nearly as big of a home run, as the dealing of Tyreke Evans though I personally think Sacramento made the right move regarding that deal, even if the return didn’t work out in its base form.
Grading D’Alessandro after just a season is tough considering you can’t rebuild a franchise in the court of a few months, but I think he did pretty well given the circumstances. It’s difficult to suggest he could have done much better, though he could have certainly done a lot worse. Overall, I’m a fan of what he did.