Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro said he loves change. When he looks at the depth charts on his office wall, he’s reminded how much change has taken place for the Kings through 19 games.
“I was staring at them looking at the team,” he said. “I’m just looking at black and white on the wall, but it looks so different from the first day. This is the NBA, so I’m never shocked by movement and action, but I’m excited by it.”
D’Alessandro, in his first year with the Kings, already has been involved in a lot of player movement. Monday, the NBA announced the Kings had completed a trade that brought Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray to Sacramento from the Toronto Raptors for John Salmons, Greivis Vasquez, Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson.
The newest Kings watched Monday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks from a suite at Sleep Train Arena, and short-handed Sacramento blew out the Dallas Mavericks 112-97.
Never miss a local story.
Sacramento had 10 players available because the newest Kings cannot play until the seven players in the deal pass physicals. The Kings hope to have their new players available Wednesday when they host the Utah Jazz.
Sacramento (6-13) did fine without the new additions against Dallas (13-9).
Derrick Williams scored a career-high 31 points, DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 19 rebounds, and Isaiah Thomas added 24 points and a career-high 12 assists as the Kings won back-to-back games for the second time this season.
The depth chart on D’Alessandro’s wall could change more. Only six players from last season’s roster remain, and two of the players added this summer – Vasquez and Luc Mbah a Moute – have been dealt already.
D’Alessandro said his phone line is always open for a team that wants to talk about a deal.
The remaining Kings are constantly being evaluated, and the latest trade creates opportunities for some players to showcase themselves for the Kings or possibly a new team.
With Vasquez gone, Thomas becomes the starting point guard, and the Kings need a backup. Jimmer Fredette and rookie Ray McCallum will vie for that job.
“Obviously with Greivis gone and not bringing back a point guard in the deal, those guys will get an opportunity to play the backup one (point guard),” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “We’ve played Jimmer mostly off the ball this season. Now he’ll get an opportunity to play some point guard as well.
“The reality is we need to see Ray McCallum play. He had a tremendous training camp for us, did some really good things in the preseason, so we’ll give him a look during the season at the backup one to see who he is, where he’s at and what he needs to work on.”
Fredette and McCallum each had two points Monday.
Thomas’ move to the starting lineup also creates a scoring void on the bench. Marcus Thornton will be needed to help fill that role. Without Thomas doing the bulk of the bench scoring, there should be more scoring opportunities for Thornton.
“We only had 10 healthy bodies, so it’s tough to have a true example of how our bench is going to be moving forward,” Malone said. “ ... (Thornton) can be a big help for us off the bench with his scoring.”
Malone also gave no indication if he planned to keep Jason Thompson or Williams in the starting lineup when Gay is available to play.
Thompson is one of the holdovers from last season. Williams was acquired from Minnesota in the deal for Mbah Moute.
If Gay and Williams man the frontcourt, the Kings won’t have a prototypical power forward like Thompson. But Gay and Williams would be an athletic tandem.
“They can play together at times,” Malone said. “And when they play together, I think Derrick most likely will be the guy playing the power forward position.”
Williams said he is looking forward to seeing how the new Kings fit.
“Every day, it feels like something’s happening,” Williams said. “I’ve been here almost two weeks, and we’ve had five or six changes already. I think we’re being really aggressive, trying to get good guys that can fit in our rotation They made an excellent trade in the (front) office, and I can’t wait to see what those guys can do out there as well.”
D’Alessandro is committed to following through with the “mandate” from principal owner Vivek Ranadive to improve the Kings. D’Alessandro didn’t promise more change, but don’t be surprised to see more.
“If you don’t embrace change, it’s going to be how many years of the same old thing,” D’Alessandro said. “ ... When you work on a team that had 57 wins (in Denver last season), it’s different. You tweak it; you can take out a piece; you plug in a piece; the machine runs. We’re trying to build the machine.”