A season full of turnover continues for the Kings. A few weeks ago, they parted ways with analytics director Dean Oliver. It was just the latest move in a controversial offseason that has seen Vlade Divac take over control of basketball operations, lots of roster turnover (including signing Rajon Rondo), a bizarre salary-dumping trade with the Sixers that also saw them give up several picks, and never-ending rumors of a rift between George Karl and DeMarcus Cousins. Whether fair or not, letting go of Oliver (one of the godfathers of basketball analytics) seemed to be the marker of a dysfunctional franchise. But ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that they have a replacement now, and it’s a very solid choice: Mavericks vice president of basketball operations Roland Beech.
Before working for the Mavs, Beech was the founder of the highly influential site 82games.com, which was a pioneer in tracking five-man lineups and shot-clock usage data, among other things. He’s a veteran in the basketball analytics game who is very well-regarded around the league. This is an excellent hire for the Kings.