Since being bounced in the first round, the Denver Nuggets have lost their coach George Karl, their GM Masai Ujiri to Toronto, and their biggest name player Andre Iguodala has opted out of his contract to test free agency.
And now they have lost their assistant GM.
Denver had wanted their No. 2 man behind Ujiri to step up into the big chair, but he has been poached. The Sacramento Kings have reached a deal with Pete D’Alessandro to be the team’s new general manager, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (and confirmed by other sources).
After nearly a decade in front offices with Golden State and Denver, D’Alessandro developed a strong reputation with executives throughout the NBA. He worked closely with Ujiri on the Carmelo Anthony trade that replenished the Nuggets’ roster with young talent, and played a part in the procurement of top young draft picks, including Kenneth Farried and Ty Lawson.
You would be hard pressed to find an assistant GM more respected around the league than D’Alessandro, this is a great hire for the Kings.
D’Alessandro’s first order of business is the draft in two weeks, where the Kings pick No. 7. Then he needs to work with coach Mike Malone to rebuild the roster in Sacramento. They have a building block in DeMarcus Cousins, if they can get him to bring it ever night and stay focused.
Denver has a lot of offices to fill. That’s a good roster but the front office situation leaves a lot of questions about where they go from here.
The Golden State Warriors are so talented, perhaps the officials are predisposed to blowing whistles in their favor. At least, that’s the only explanation you could give to a Utah Jazz fan after seeing what happened between Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Utah’s Joe Johnson on Thursday night.
As Durant came off a curl on the far side of the court, he used a screen set by Curry on Johnson.
With the ball in his hands, Durant rose to fire but found himself locked in arms with another player. Durant’s shot attempt helplessly bounced away as he shot, and officials whistled Johnson on the play.
Of course, a closer look reveals that the player Durant’s arms were tangled up with was … Curry.
Yes, Curry had arm locked what he thought was Johnson on the screen but was instead his teammate and MVP candidate.
It didn’t matter, as referees awarded Durant the free throws, of which he only made 1 of 2.
Perhaps that’s some solace?
Golden State beat Utah, 106-99.
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.
The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).
No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.
The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.
Second-year forward Sam Dekker is finding a comfort zone in the Mike D’Antoni offense in Houston. Healthy this season, he is coming off the bench for 18 minutes a night, and his game where he is quick and can also hit the three is fitting perfectly with Houston’s system, leading him to 6.7 points a game.
Also, he can run the floor. And finish.
As Enes Kanter found out when he hustled, got back in transition defense, and wasn’t going to stop Dekker from getting to the rim.
That’s a quality dunk.
The Rockets went on to win the game 102-99, despite Russell Westbrook‘s seventh-straight triple-double.