AP Source: Kings GM Pete D'Alessandro returning to Nuggets
Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro has accepted a front-office position in Denver, a person familiar with the decision said Wednesday.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams have not formally announced the move. D'Alessandro is expected to work in a support role under Josh Kroenke, the president of the NBA's Denver Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche.
Yahoo Sports first reported the agreement.
D'Alessandro's departure ends a tumultuous tenure in Sacramento.
He was hired as general manager of the Kings in June 2013 after working in the Nuggets' front office. He fired Michael Malone as coach 24 games into his second season despite a strong start, and as Sacramento slid rapidly, owner Vivek Ranadive hired former center Vlade Divac to oversee basketball operations in March.
Divac's arrival took away D'Alessandro position as the department's top decision-maker. Chris Mullin, a supporter of D'Alessandro who had served as an adviser to Ranadive, left soon after to become coach at St. John's, his alma mater.
D'Alessandro came to the Kings with high expectations after three years in Denver, where he had been the assistant general manager under Masai Ujiri, who is now the GM in Toronto. D'Alessandro orchestrated the trade that brought forward Rudy Gay from the Raptors two seasons ago, but no matter what move he made, Sacramento struggled to change its losing ways.
D'Alessandro drafted Nik Stauskas (eighth) and Ben McLemore (seventh) in the first round the past two seasons, and neither has made the immediate impact the Kings had hoped.
But the biggest blunder of D'Alessandro's tenure came this past season, when he fired Malone after an 11-13 start, which included going 2-7 while All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins was out with viral meningitis. The Kings played uninspired under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, so Ranadive pushed D'Alessandro to hire George Karl.
Sacramento finished 29-53, the franchise's ninth straight losing season.
Now D'Alessandro will try to help Kroenke and general manager Tim Connelly get the Nuggets back to being the team that won an NBA franchise-record 57 games in his last season in Denver in 2012-13. Karl was fired after that season despite winning coach of the year and losing to Golden State in the first round of the playoffs.
The Nuggets are looking for a new coach again after Brian Shaw was dismissed in March and replaced by interim coach Melvin Hunt, who remains a candidate for the position.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP