Kings GM On Knicks Trade, Rookies, Collison

Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro offered some comments on the team’s offseason thus far, including the thought process behind their recent trade with the Knicks, the impression that the rookies have made at this point, and how he expects Darren Collison to significantly contribute next season. D’Alessandro covers several other topics in his recent Q&A session with, but you can find some of the interview’s more notable highlights below:

On dealing Quincy Acy and Travis Outlaw to New York and what it meant for Sacramento:

“First, I would say Quincy did a phenomenal job for us – we loved Quincy. I think when we looked at our positioning and the positions we had filled, it became much more difficult. So we worked with Quincy – in a partnership with him – to make something happen that worked for him and worked for us. And we’re really happy for him because I think he’s going to play really well for the Knicks. On our end, we give ourselves a little flexibility. We took some protection off a pick, which we now have in an unconditional manner and we got a young player who has a chance to make our team and who’s an exceptional shooter. So we have flexibility and also we have other players in which we’re negotiating with who we think could fill the role that Travis played, which was a huge role.

Travis is another hard guy to let go – he was such a good citizen and a really good player for us. So overall, it was a broad brush of things that it did for us and cleaned some things up and it put us in position for future [moves]. For Quincy and Travis, we wish them the best and really do thank them – they are great guys and great players.”

On rookie Nik Stauskas:

“We have high hopes for Nik. He’s very young so we’re not going to put a lot of pressure on him this year, but I don’t think we don’t need to. He puts a lot of pressure on himself. We have very high hopes for him as a player, as a shooter, and as a guy who can help us to stretch the floor, so there’s a lot of opportunities for him… (What stands out about him right now is) confidence. If he gets three shots, he feels like he’s going to make all three. If he gets 20 shots, he feels like he’s going to make 20. He’s not a guy that will ever have the ball in his hands and feel like he’s not going to succeed with it and you saw that in Summer League. We didn’t go to him as often as we might have, but nothing really fazed him. He continued to shoot the ball well and do what he does. So we’re looking forward to his development.” 

On Deonte Burton:

“…With Deonte we see a guy with a lot of promise. A lot of guys saw him highly ranked, but he didn’t get drafted. And this Draft was such a tough one because it was so loaded and stacked. When you got to the second round you just didn’t know what was going to happen – there were teams who didn’t necessarily want to bring guys in, so they take guys who are stashed. Deonte’s not a guy who wanted to be stashed – he feels like he’s an NBA player and we would like to see what he has…“He [had] a great (draft) workout. He’s a great kid too – I think he fits in with what we’re trying to do. We’re excited that he’ll be part of this process and training camp and he’ll have an opportunity to try to make the team.”

On Eric Moreland:

“I thought [he brought] energy and he had an ability to block shots, but really just how hard he plays…These guys come in and play hard – they play really hard and we expect that out of Eric and that’s what it’s going to take for him to succeed in this league…(Players with his skill set) translate to almost any system because those are the guys who raise the energy of your team and the players around them. To me, you can insert a guy who’s 22-years-old and now it’s up to him. It’s up to him to step in and create a niche for himself.”

On how he expects Darren Collison to have an impact:

“[He’s another guy with a high] motor – a guy who can just go, flat-out go. He can help pick up our pace. He’s a great veteran and he’s a guy we look forward to bringing more than just his skills [to our team]…You’re talking about a guy who has playoff experience – a guy who has an expectation of winning. When I talk to Darren, it’s always ‘how do we make the playoffs? How do we get there?’ That’s something that’s important to me – that you have players that are thinking that way, and more important, acting that way…His ability to pull it together – we talk about the-straw-that-stirs-the-drink analogy and that’s [our] hope for him. We want him to be that guy that brings out the talent from everyone else, while also showing his talent and leadership in the process.” 

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