Late last night, The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Sacramento Kings’ VP of Basketball Results, Roland Beech, is leaving the Kings after two years of service.
Sources: After two years in Sacramento, Roland Beech, VP of Basketball Results, leaving Kings. Beech was well-paid analytics hire from Mavs.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) April 18, 2017
It’s a pretty detail-less report, but it’s all we’ve got.
First of all, VP of Basketball Results is a hilarious title for Beech’s role, and one that I hadn’t heard until this report. He’s their analytics guy, despite whatever that silly title might suggest. He was their analytics guy, I should say.
The hiring of Roland Beech was one of the moves the Kings made over the last several years that was universally praised. Beech made a name for himself as the creator of 82games.com, one of the first big online NBA analytics sites, and he parlayed that fame into a long-term position with the Dallas Mavericks
Mark Cuban often credited Beech for the Mavericks’ 2011 NBA Finals win over the Miami Heat due to his role as a sort of go-between for the front office and coaching staff. Beech would work in the Mavs’ analytics department, but also took a spot on Rick Carlisle’s bench to contribute with in-game adjustments.
As Woj noted, the Kings paid Beech a lot of money to leave Dallas. Cuban wanted to keep him, but the Kings were offering a lot of money and a bigger role.
I’ve often speculated what Beech was actually doing here. It’s a name we haven’t heard in several months, so while this report doesn’t come as a surprise, it’s disappointing that the Kings couldn’t utilize Beech’s skill set.
It’s also worth noting that in Wojnarowski’s report last week about the Kings’ interest in Sam Hinkie, Woj speculated that assistant GM Ken Catanella was being marginalized in the Kings’ front office.
The Kings hired respected league executive Ken Catanella as an assistant GM last year to help Divac, but it’s unclear how much, if at all, Divac has embraced Catanella’s counsel.
So Beech is gone. Catanella may or may not be on the outs. Sam Hinkie may or may not be coming in, and then there is Jason Levien. Levien, a former player agent, had a role in the Kings’ front office during the Geoff Petrie era before joining the Grizzlies. Memphis let Levien go in 2014, but he has a very obvious relationship with Kings head coach Dave Joerger, and was even working with Vivek Ranadive in 2015, according to Scott Howard-Cooper.
Latest twist in Kings situation: Jason Levien, assistant GM late in the Maloof era, now an unofficial advisor for Vivek Ranadive.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) July 15, 2015
The connection between Levien and the Kings has never gone away.
Something is going on behind the scenes. I’m sure we’ll find out what that something is shortly, but the Kings need to figure their front office out in a hurry. There has been a lot of turnover since Vivek Ranadive purchased the team, and for a franchise that is riding a decade-long wave of instability, they sure could use a cohesive front office that has a plan, and one that Ranadive is willing to see through to the end.
At any rate, considering Vlade Divac’s limited front office experience, the Kings’ brain trust shouldn’t be getting smaller. Beech is leaving, fine, but that’s one less experienced NBA mind in a building sorely lacking experienced NBA minds.