Three unbeaten teams rule the Western Conference, but behind them, the Kings are surprisingly the West’s only one-loss club. Offseason signees Darren Collison and Omri Casspi have paid dividends so far, but it’s early, and a four-game road trip with stops in Phoenix, Dallas and Memphis will provide a closer look at just how far Sacramento has come. In the meantime, here’s the latest from California’s capital, home to one of just three NBA teams with open roster spots:
- Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro backed off his aggressive pursuit of trades even before the club started the season on a roll, as he tells Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com. Howard-Cooper cautions that it doesn’t necessarily mean the Kings won’t aggressively seek deals again after a while, whether or not their strong play persists. “When you talk about thirst, last year when we came in, we knew we had to disrupt the whole roster,” D’Alessandro said. “Dismantle. I don’t know if that was a thirst as much as — well, it was a thirst. It was a necessity, right? Our eyes are always open. We’re always looking to get better. But we are very happy with the acquisitions that we made. We’re going to take a wait-and-see approach and see how this thing goes. Obviously every team in the league is looking for that one magical guy, but let’s see if this chemistry’s right for a little bit.”
- Ben McLemore didn’t consult LeBron James before joining the Klutch Sports Group this week, as the second-year shooting guard told reporters, including Jason Jones of The Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). James, whom McLemore considers a mentor, is a founding Klutch client.
- Isaiah Thomas isn’t sure whether DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay wanted him to remain with the Kings, but the point guard figures that if they had, he’d probably still be in Sacramento, as he tells USA Today’s Sam Amick. “The only thing is I wanted to be back because I loved the coaching staff,” Thomas said. “I love [coach] Mike Malone. He was in my corner 100%. I know that for a fact. And then the city of Sacramento, with the love they showed me. [Sacramento mayor and former NBA player] Kevin Johnson. That was all I knew coming into the NBA. But at the end of the day, I wanted to be wanted — that’s what I keep telling people — and I didn’t feel like they wanted me as much.”