The Kings are open to just about anything leading up to Thursdays NBA draft.
Then again, thats how general manager Pete DAlessandro operates. He has no intention of limiting his options in his efforts to improve the Kings.
Weve made it known we want to acquire more picks, DAlessandro said following Mondays pre-draft workout. That we want to acquire veteran talent, that we want to get a higher pick and that well slide back and get a lower pick. A lot of times thats posturing, but thats really where we are.
The Kings have the eighth pick in the first round and no second-round picks. This years second-round pick was traded to Toronto in 2012 for forward James Johnson.
The Kings would love to acquire an impact player to boost their chances of becoming a playoff team, but theyd also consider a young player who might become a star instead of a stopgap veteran. Acquiring more picks would give the Kings an opportunity to add depth.
And DAlessandro is open to making a trade.
I think people know were a team thats ready to make moves, and were strongly evaluating a lot of things with this pick, DAlessandro said.
Point guards Marcus Smart and Elfrid Payton, sharpshooters Doug McDermott and Nik Stauskas and power forwards Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon are players the Kings have met with who could be available at No. 8.
DAlessandro said hes inclined to select the highest-rated player available, regardless of position, and the Kings want to improve their passing, perimeter shooting, defense and basketball IQ.
If the Kings keep the pick, DAlessandro said he has an idea who he would select.
Im at the point there are about three guys I really feel good about that could be in that range, DAlessandro said. Now Im at the point where Im saying, Is there some reason we might want to slide back and get a veteran that can impact this year and maybe at a position of need? Were doing that analysis.
The planning became easier after small forward Rudy Gay told the Kings he would pick up his player option for next season, worth $19.3 million, before the June 30 deadline. Now, the Kings wont aggressively pursue a starting small forward this week.
It certainly makes life easier knowing what Rudy wants to do, DAlessandro said. And I think it says a lot about him that he would let us know in order for us to plan. Hes been a great teammate of ours, and I mean of the front offices, in that sense with the willingness to say, I want to help you guys figure out what you need to do.
Some decisions, however, cannot be made until July 1, when free agency begins.
DAlessandro said the Kings will give point guard Isaiah Thomas a qualifying offer worth $1.1 million to make him a restricted free agent, which will allow the team to match any offer Thomas receives. DAlessandro said he planned to talk with Thomas agent, Andy Miller.
Thomas, Gay and center DeMarcus Cousins all averaged at least 20 points, making the Kings the only team in the NBA last season with three players averaging 20 or more points.
While there has been debate over whether Thomas is best suited as the starting point guard or a scorer coming off the bench, the Kings will consider ways that are sensible financially to keep the trio together.
We loved what our three guys did last (season), DAlessandro said. We feel very strongly about Isaiah. What I can say is obviously well give him his qualifying offer and well have very good discussions with his agent at the appropriate time, but we feel good about the three of those guys.