SACRAMENTO - Despite reports to the contrary, the Sacramento Kings said they have not attempted to trade their young rookie Ben McLemore.
Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro went out of his way to speak to a small media group during the team's practice on Tuesday to shoot down a Yahoo! Sports report that they offered McLemore as part of a package to Boston, in exchange for guard Rajon Rondo.
D'Alessandro took exception to the report and chose to make a statement publicly, rather than have it come out through an unnamed source.
"I think a lot of people act in ways in this league that I choose not to do," D'Alessandro said. "So, I'm standing here today and I'm saying Ben McLemore is a guy that we have not put in deals. He's a guy that we love here.
"So, sources? I think I'm a source. We haven't put Ben in anything," he continued. "We look at Ben as a major part of what we're doing long-term."
With Thursday's noon PST trade deadline looming, the Kings have been linked to many trade rumors during this season, the first for D'Alessandro as a general manager. He's shown an aggressiveness to change the team he inherited, by already pulling off two trades this season.
On Nov. 26, the Kings dealt Luc Mbah a Moute to Minnesota in exchange for Derrick Williams, the second overall pick from the 2011 NBA Draft.
Thirteen days later, D'Alessandro pulled the trigger on a 7-player deal that sent Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes to Toronto for Rudy Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray.
Since making those moves, D'Alessandro continues to say that the organization will be active in finding ways to improve the Kings.
McLemore, who just turned 21 and was drafted by the Kings with the seventh pick in last year's draft, just returned from his first experience at All-Star weekend in New Orleans. He competed in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest and was the lone representative from the Kings participating in events.
By Sean Cunningham