-Updated 11:00 am
New Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé was very clear on June 6 when he hired coach Michael Malone that this season would not be about wins and losses. The new front office has worked feverishly to retool the roster for the 2013-14 season and they may not be done just yet.
General Manager Pete D’Alessandro has chased some quality free agents – Andre Iguodala, Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis and Greg Oden just to name a few. There have been some swings and misses, but the Kings have been in the conversation all summer long.
But the list of potential players that can help this roster now is dwindling quickly. Anyone signed from here on out would struggle to find time in the rotation and barring a substantial trade, which isn’t out of the realm of possibility, this is the team that the Kings will open up the season with.
Here is a look at the moves so far.
- Ben McLemore: The high-flying shooting guard will forever go down as D’Alessandro’s first pick as general manager. Not many saw the athletic wing out of Kansas falling all the way down to the Kings at No. 7. He is young and in need of some major skill work, but three years from now, Sacramento may be the biggest winner of the 2013 NBA Draft.
- Ray McCallum: McLemore wasn’t the only athletic guard D’Alessandro and his newly assembled team picked through the draft. Second-round pick Ray McCallum turned heads in Las Vegas with his polished offensive approach and leadership skills. Sure, McCallum needs to show that he can do more than drive to the hoop, but the former McDonald’s All-American is without a doubt an NBA player.
- Greivis Vasquez: When you have a 28-win team, major moves are necessary. The Kings would have loved to have kept former rookie of the year Tyreke Evans, but only at the right price. And when the price got too high, D’Alessandro worked out a swap for point guard Vasquez. This is exactly the type of player the Kings needed. No, it wasn’t a straight talent-for-talent swap, but Vasquez is a pass-first point guard that will help change the culture of this club both on and off the court.
- Carl Landry: McLemore was the first draft pick by D’Alessandro, Vasquez was his first acquisition by trade and Landry became his first free agent signing. This is a second go-around for Landry in Sacramento and I don’t think anyone involved minds that at all. The versatile post scorer gives a consistent effort every night and instantly improves the Kings bench. Is he a perfect fit? I’m not sure, but he improves the talent of the roster and that is all that matters.
- Luc Mbah a Moute: The Kings have struggled to find a league average small forward for what seems like an eternity. Mbah a Moute is a raw offensive talent, but if healthy, he is an incredible wing defender. At the cost of only a future second round pick and the 2 years remaining on his deal, the former Milwaukee Buck is a risk at the right price. Like Landry and Vasquez, Mbah a Moute is a high character, team first guy.
- Tyreke Evans: Kings fans were shocked when D’Alessandro moved Evans to the New Orleans Pelicans for Vasquez. I don’t believe this was change for change’s sake. Sacramento was one of the worst passing teams in the entire league last season. If you can trade out a player that averaged 3.5 assists per game for a player that posted 9.0 assists per game, you are changing the way a team runs. This move may come back to bite D’Alessandro in the behind or it will make him look like a genius.
- Toney Douglas: It took a while for Douglas to crack the rotation after coming over in a mid-season trade from Houston, but once he did, he quickly stood out as one of the team’s best defenders. Douglas has since signed a deal to replace the departed Jarrett Jack in Golden State. After landing Vasquez and McCallum, there wasn’t room for the 27-year-old out of Florida State.
- James Johnson and Cole Aldrich: The Kings renounced the rights to both Johnson and Aldrich in order to sign Landry. Johnson was a huge disappointment in Sacramento, losing his job to veteran John Salmons early in the season. Aldrich could still be an option for the Kings if they miss out on Greg Oden. The 6-foot-11-inch center out of Kansas became a fan favorite in limited minutes and fits the team’s need for a defensive-minded shot blocker.
D’Alessandro has tweaked the roster and he might not be done making changes. It might not seem like a lot, but Landry, McLemore and Vasquez will all play major roles in 2013. Knowing that there is still time to make improvements, how would you grade what the Kings new general manager has done so far?