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.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.