Kings Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Sacramento Kings and the NBA.

June 3, 2013
Geoff Petrie working with new coach during transition

Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie is still playing a key role with the team even as he knows he's in his final month with the franchise.

Until the Kings hire a new general manager, Petrie and his staff are running all the preparations and research leading up to the NBA Draft on June 27.

Until ownership settles on a new general manager, new coach Michael Malone is leaning on Petrie.

"I just told (Petrie) how much I appreciate him sticking around because he knows the draft a lot better than I do," Malone said. "He's been studying these guys ... and he also can offer great insights to the current players on our roster as to what their strengths, weaknesses are and personalities. But I'm still going to keep an open mind and form my opinion on these guys."

Malone said he would meet with Kings assistant coaches Tuesday.

Assistants Bobby Jackson and Alex English were at today's pre-draft workout. Jim Eyen has been an assistant under Keith Smart and Paul Westphal.

"I met with all three of the guys today before the workout," Malone said. "...I told them tomorrow we'll have a chance to sit down and talk and figure out what the best thing is going forward for them, for me."

*Malone said the Kings as constructed can be a good defensive team. Yes, that's hard to believe for anyone that has watched them in recent years.

The Kings under Westphal and Smart were an "either/or" team.

When the Kings played defense, they couldn't score. When they scored a lot, defense was an afterthought too often.

Malone said Monday if the Kings can maintain their offensive efficiency and make strides defensively, the team could improve quickly.

Malone said you don't have to have five great individual defenders to be good on defense if the scheme is right and players trust it.

The Kings talked about playing defense, but only did so in spurts.

"You just can't talk about being a good defensive team," Malone said. "It's got to be the first practice, first drill in training camp and it's got to be all year long. It's got to be something you sit on top of...I really feel with the roster the way it's situated, it can become a better defensive team."

*Malone plans to travel to meet with players on the roster. DeMarcus Cousins is in Los Angeles this week, where he hopes to meet with Malone and majority owner Vivek Ranadive.

Neither talked as if they want to trade Cousins and Malone said he is reserving judgment until he sits down with Cousins or any other player.

"At the end of the day these players are all going to have a choice to make," Malone said. "You're either going to embrace the change or resist."

Malone said he anticipates players will embrace change.

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