Kings hire D'Alessandro as general manager

Published: Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 - 6:06 pm

Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive found his new general manager Saturday by reaching an agreement to hire Denver vice president of basketball operations Pete D'Alessandro, a source confirmed.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team had not officially announced the hiring.

D'Alessandro spent the past three seasons with the Nuggets and was a well-regarded assistant to former general manager Masai Ujiri, the NBA Executive of the Year. Ujiri became Toronto's general manager May 31.

D'Alessandro was considered a top candidate to replace Ujiri, but the Kings were still granted permission to speak with him in their search to replace Geoff Petrie.

Other candidates included Memphis general manager Chris Wallace, former Indiana general manager David Morway and Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk.

Ranadive sought to make a big splash by pursuing Hall of Fame player and former Indiana executive Larry Bird, but Bird withdrew from consideration last week.

Ranadive also spoke with former Kings player and television analyst Kenny Smith and former coach and executive Mike Dunleavy.

D'Alessandro is noted for his statistical analysis and understanding of the salary cap. He was credited with helping the Nuggets remain competitive by acquiring key players in the trade that sent Carmelo Anthony to New York in February 2011.

Before joining Denver's front office, D'Alessandro spent four seasons (2004-08) with the Warriors, the last two as assistant general manager.

Chris Mullin, D'Alessandro's boss with the Warriors, told the Denver Post his former aide is ready to run a team.

"He's the ideal guy," Mullin said. "He's got the experience now, and he's the whole package. He's like one of the players that you don't see coming, like (the Pacers') Paul George, a star in the making. He knows his strengths. He empowers people around him. I loved working with him."

After coming to an agreement with new coach Michael Malone the day before the sale of the Kings closed escrow May 31, Ranadive took a much more deliberate pace in his quest for a new general manager.

Before becoming owner, Ranadive met with Petrie – who has been with the Kings since 1994 – and informed him he would not be retained. Petrie's contract expires June 30, but he stayed on the job and has run the Kings' pre-draft process.

The responsibility of deciding what to do in the draft now falls on D'Alessandro. The Kings have the seventh overall pick in the June 27 draft.

D'Alessandro also faces decisions involving current players.

Guard Tyreke Evans can become an unrestricted free agent if the Kings do not make him a qualifying offer. A qualifying offer would make him a restricted free agent and give them the right to match an offer sheet for Evans.

Center DeMarcus Cousins has been the subject of trade rumors, but Ranadive and Malone have publicly stated their desire to keep him in Sacramento. Cousins also has not asked to be traded.

How the rest of the front office shapes up is uncertain. The contracts for assistants under Petrie also expire June 30.

D'Alessandro also will have to determine what direction to take with the scouting department.

Follow The Bee's Jason Jones on Twitter @mr_jasonjones and read more about the team at www.sacbee.com/kings.

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