Kings Swap Nocioni, Hawes to Sixers for Dalembert
Marc Cornstein, who confirmed the news first reported by ESPN's Chad Ford, has been hoping this would happen for quite some time. Dalembert, the 6-foot-11, 250-pound eight-year veteran, had been looking to have a more high-profile role after his minutes decreased from 33.2 per game in the 2007-08 campaign to 25.9 last season. And the Kings, who had hopes of their own that Hawes would develop into a big-time presence after they took him 10th overall out of Washington in 2007, finally have the defensive-minded big man they long coveted. What's more, Dalembert's pricey contract is low-risk as it will expire after he is paid $12.2 million for next season.
"This has been a long time in the making," Cornstein told FanHouse. "I just think he's exactly what the team needs. His strengths are rebound running the floor, shot blocking. Those are the Kings' deficiencies. It's going to be a great fit with coach (Paul) Westphal's style. I've said for a long time if I could hand pick a team, this would be the best fit for him."
Meanwhile, the Kings have also solved a significant problem in Nocioni. The small forward essentially wanted out of Sacramento upon arrival, as he was traded from Chicago to the Kings at the 2008 trade deadline in a money deal that sent Brad Miller and John Salmons to the Bulls. Nocioni's latest trade request came in recent weeks, when he told the Argentinean newspaper Olé that he expected to be traded and wouldn't return to the Kings.
The Sixers now get a feisty and versatile veteran whose contract has two years remaining of declining money ($6.85 million and $6.65) guaranteed and a team option for the 2012-13 season worth $7.5 million. And according to league sources, Nocioni was just one of the small forwards coveted by new Sixers coach Doug Collins.
Philadelphia and Detroit discussed a deal that would have sent Tayshaun Prince to Philadelphia along with Charlie Villanueva and the Pistons' seventh pick in the draft for Elton Brand and the Sixers' second pick. Collins and the Sixers, however, wanted more in return.
The Kings announced the trade on Thursday afternoon.
"We're excited about the acquisition of Samuel Dalembert," Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said in the statement. "He will certainly bring a defensive presence and increase our ability to defend around the basket with his rebounding, shot-blocking and athleticism. I think he'll add a very different look to our team defensively and we're really excited about having him. I also want to thank Spencer and Andres for their contributions here and wish them well with Philadelphia. It's been an enjoyable time with both of them."