A week prior to the 2010 NBA Draft, the Kings pulled off a long-rumored blockbuster trade, sending disappointing center Spencer Hawes and disgruntled forward Andrés Nocioni to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Samuel Dalembert.
The 29-year-old Dalembert — whose $12.2-million expiring contract likely appealed to Sacramento as much as his on-the-court contributions — averaged 8.1 points (55% FG, 73% FT), 9.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks last season. The 6-foot-11, 250-pound center, who hasn't missed a game in five years, has averaged at least 1.7 blocks per game since his second year in the league and presents a significant defensive upgrade over the maddeningly inconsistent Hawes.
Dalembert ranked third in the NBA in offensive, defensive, and total rebound percentage last season, and has placed in the top-10 in blocks per game in five of the last six years. For comparison's sake, Hawes sported the third-lowest rebounding percentage (13.1) and averaged the fifth-fewest number of blocks per game (1.2) of any center who played over 25 minutes per game in 2009-10.
Of course, Dalembert is not without his faults. Although he's a strong finisher around the basket, to say his offensive repertoire is lacking would be too kind. He has only two double-digit scoring seasons on his resume and put up a staggeringly low 6.4 points per game two years ago. He has committed 4.3 personal fouls per 36 minutes, tying him for the league lead with Eddy Curry among all starting centers over the course of his eight-year career. Factor in his awful turnover rate (17.3 — that's 17.3 turnovers per 100 possessions), and it's no wonder that Dalembert's playing time has been limited to only 26.4 minutes per contest.
On the other end, Hawes never developed into the type of player the Kings envisioned or shown much consistency since being selected 10th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft, providing only rare glimpses of his all-around potential. He ends his uninspiring three-year stint with modest averages of 8.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks in only 220 games, and will no longer drive me, as well as most Kings fans, crazy with a tendency to linger on the perimeter instead of playing inside. Giving up on the 22-year-old Hawes to shed an unwanted contract in Nocioni and acquire a potential one-year stopgap seems like a big risk for Sacramento, but clearly shows how disappointed the team has been with Hawes' lack of progress and focus on improving his game.