SACRAMENTO - Kings General Manager Pete D'Alessandro hosted a luncheon at Mulvaney's in midtown with selected members of the media to discuss the past season and address many concerns and opinions as he heads into his second season in Sacramento.
"We have a lot of work to do, we acknowledge that," D'Alessandro said. "We tried a lot of things. We tried to be creative, we tried to swing for the fences at times and, at times, we tried to be very careful in what we did. At the end of the day, it resulted in 28 wins."
Tuesday's postseason chat was casual and leisurely, a complete reversal from the previous offseason when he was hired as general manager just 12 days before June's NBA Draft.
During the more than 2-hour lunch, D'Alessandro took the time to touch upon a wide variety of topics surrounding the Kings future:
What will Rudy Gay do?
Keeping Rudy Gay is the organization's top priority heading into this offseason.
Gay can opt out of his contract for next season and walk away from over $19 million to test the free agent market in search of a longer deal elsewhere. He may decide to return for next season and play out his original deal in Sacramento, making him an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2015, or negotiate an extension up to three years on top of the one year left with the Kings.
Gay controls his own destiny, and D'Alessandro's main hope is that the franchise, staff, teammates and city of Sacramento has rubbed off on him in a positive way to lure him back.
"We'll continue to make ourselves a place he wants to be," D'Alessandro told News10. "He's a talented player and we want to retain that."
Gay has until June 30 to make up his mind. D'Alessandro believes he, like most players in his position, will wait until the final day to announce his decision.
Isaiah Thomas' future in Sacramento
Unlike Gay, the Kings do hold all the cards with the future for their point guard Isaiah Thomas, who will become a restricted free agent after Sacramento offers a qualifying offer.
The Kings will have the ability to allow Thomas, who is coming off his best season as a professional, to negotiate with other teams. Should he reach an agreement with an opposing team, just like Tyreke Evans did last season with New Orleans, the Kings will then have the ability to decide to match the deal to keep Thomas, let him walk outright or explore the the possibility of a sign-and-trade with that team.
D'Alessandro admitted he has already has a number in his head for how much he's willing to pay Thomas.
"Isaiah obviously wants to be here, but the business is the business," D'Alessandro said. "The great part about Isaiah and his agent is that we'll kind of navigate that together as a group. He's got to do what's right for him, and we've got to do what's right for us and hopefully those two things merge and become one.
"At the end of the day, we do know it's a business and he had a phenomenal year, so we'll see where that goes."
Will Jason Terry play for the Kings next season?
With the Kings being a such a young team, D'Alessandro feels Jason Terry is experienced and talented enough to be a benefit. But can he still play?
D'Alessandro said he will head to Dallas, along with head coach Michael Malone, to spend time with Jason Terry who was excused from the team after he was acquired from Brooklyn in a deal for Marcus Thornton. Terry, 36, has been rehabilitating his left knee and is under contract for next season, a deal worth about $5.5 million.
Do players want to play with DeMarcus Cousins?
Last offseason, D'Alessandro and the Kings made the commitment to make DeMarcus Cousins the face of the franchise -- signing him to a 4-year, $62-million maximum extension, which will kick in next season.
Several moments have scarred Cousins' four seasons in Sacramento, highlighted by moments of numerous technicals, ejections, suspensions and a few clashes with coaches and teammates.
"When you play with DeMarcus Cousins and that level of a talent, it makes the players around them better," D'Alessandro said.
Using Gay as an example when asked if Cousins' reputation may hinder luring other players, D'Alessandro said, "I believe part of the sales pitch is 'come play with DeMarcus Cousins.'"
Depth of this year's NBA Draft
This year's draft class impresses D'Alessandro so much, that he's already expressed interest to other teams about trying to acquire a second-round pick -- something they presently have due to the early season trade with Toronto.
"It's an intriguing draft top to bottom, I really believe that," D'Alessandro said. "There's going to be a lot of decisions to make on this. We're slated to (pick seventh), who knows where it ends up (in the NBA Draft Lottery), but that's where we are today. We're looking at everything"
Watch the full interview with Pete D'Alessandro and his discussion with Sacramento media
News10's Bryan May talks to Sacramento Kings general manager Pete D'Alessandro about the objectives this offseason, Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas and the future, during a lengthy luncheon at Mulvaney's. Included, he answers questions from the local media News10/KXTV
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