Carl Landry knows the "new" Kings better than most players.
Landry played for coach Michael Malone while he was an assistant coach in his previous two jobs at New Orleans and Golden State.
Landry also is familiar with principal owner Vivek Ranadive, a former Warriors minority owner. And point guard Greivis Vasquez was a teammate of Landry's in New Orleans.
So when Sacramento reached out to the 29-year-old free-agent forward, Landry jumped at the chance to return, agreeing to a four-year, $26 million contract Saturday.
The six-year veteran officially can sign Wednesday, when the league moratorium on transactions is lifted.
Landry first came to the Kings in February 2010 from Houston in the deal that sent Kevin Martin to the Rockets. The Kings traded Landry to New Orleans for Marcus Thornton in February 2011.
Before the Kings hired Malone, Landry praised the coach's work in New Orleans and Golden State. Landry said Malone, Ranadive and general manager Pete D'Alessandro made it clear the forward would be a key in reshaping the Kings.
"Those guys were seriously interested in me, and that made the decision much easier," Landry said.
Landry, who opted out of the final year of his Warriors contract, is the first unrestricted free agent to agree to terms with the Kings under their new ownership.
During Landry's previous stint in Sacramento, relocation talk overshadowed basketball talk. That's no longer the case.
"I'm excited to be the first player in this new era to sign," Landry said. "It's already different. You can tell."
Landry had no reservations about returning, thanks to the new ownership. He said fan support was always great in Sacramento even with the uncertainty over relocation.
"I remember the fans and the support I got," Landry said. "Not just in the arena but around the city."
Landry played a major role last season with the Warriors, who reached the Western Conference semifinals. He averaged 10.8 points and 6.0 rebounds in 81 regular-season games, including two starts. In the playoffs, he averaged 11.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in 12 games, including three starts.
He said the Kings are poised to make a big improvement under the new leadership.
"The talent is here on this team," Landry said. "We just have to find a way to put it together. And coach Malone is one of the better coaches in the league."
Aside from the ownership, management and coaching changes, the roster is a lot different from Landry's first stint in Sacramento, but he is still familiar with some players.
DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson are the only Kings remaining from 2010-11. Landry also played with Chuck Hayes in Houston.
Landry is excited about reuniting with Vasquez, who will come to Sacramento in a sign-and-trade with New Orleans for Tyreke Evans.
"He's a competitor," Landry said of Vasquez. "I saw he'd have a good season once he got the opportunity to play. He competed every day regardless of the situation."
In his first 28 games, all starts, with the Kings, Landry averaged 18.0 points. The next season, he played 53 games, starting 16, and averaged 11.9 points before being traded.
Landry's role under this regime is uncertain. The Kings already have Thompson and Patrick Patterson at power forward, and roster changes are still likely with another small forward being sought.
D'Alessandro and Landry have no previous ties with each other, but Landry said the general manager's vision gives him reason to believe the Kings are headed in the right direction.
Landry's connection with Ranadive and Malone solidifies that belief.
"I know who those two guys are," Landry said. "I know what they stand for and I know what they want."