New Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D’Alessandro comes highly regarded, he’s been praised quite a bit in several NBA circles, and it’s hard to doubt for a second that he’ll do just fine picking with Sacramento’s seventh overall pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.
The problem here is that D’Alessandro was given less than a fortnight to make his selection, after being hired by new owner Vivek Ranadive earlier this month. And though Pete is a smart basketball dude, he’ll be going up against NBA GMs that have months to figure out where to go with the draft. Heck, some of these lottery participants have known since the final pick of the 2012 draft that they’d likely end up back in the lottery in 2013.
Kind of unfair. Kind of par for the course, when dealing with the fallout of the disastrous Maloof regime in Sacramento. USA Today’s Sam Amick spoke with the newbie for a column published on Thursday:
The workload that D'Alessandro described as "six months of work in nine days" might be unprecedented because of the circumstances.
"We're still trying to put an organization together as well," D'Alessandro told USA TODAY Sports. "I do my West Coast calls at night because I figure I can get people at 9 o'clock here and try to work my East Coast calls in the daytime. This morning I woke up at 5:30, and I don't know what time I'll get back to the hotel tonight.
"It's one of those head-hits-the-pillow things when you get to sleep, which I think it is for everyone. But it's the additional stuff, the additional responsibilities in a short period of time, that highlight the amount of work we have to do right now."
It might be unprecedented, as Sam points out, but D’Alessandro is as capable as he is linked-in. And it isn’t as if he didn’t bother to watch an NCAA game or two while assisting Masai Ujiri’s award-winning executive turn in Denver last year.
The bigger point here is the lingering toxic fallout from the Maloof brothers, who will be glad to look up their names on the internet again and find themselves listed.
Because the Maloofs dragged their feet at every opportunity in an attempt to sell Kings fans out and send the team to new owners in Seattle, a deal with Ranadive wasn’t finished until spring. With current technical GM Geoff Petrie’s contract expiring on June 30, the new ownership had to find a new GM and fast, but didn’t want to blow the process of their first major executive hire. As a result, D’Alessandro has to cram those six (or more) months into just over a week, stuck again with a middle of the road lottery pick at number seven.
These are the same Maloofs that refused to let go of Petrie for years mainly because they didn’t want to pay the scratch for a new GM. The same owners that traded last year’s lottery pick, and made just one significant offseason addition last summer in free agent Aaron Brooks (who was waived midseason). If the worst case scenario takes place and D’Alessandro whiffs on Thursday’s selection (which we don’t think he will) and picks up a player that won’t contribute like a seventh selection for the length of his contract, the Maloofs’ complete and utter disdain for Sacramento Kings fans will have salted nearly a decade’s worth of crops.
It’s completely and utterly unfair, for all involved.
Here’s hoping D’Alessandro can turn “unprecedented” into a good thing. Sacramento’s draft clock is working double-time hours these days.