In an interview with The Athletic, Alex Len discussed wanting to stay with the Atlanta Hawks and being confused over his trade to the Sacramento Kings.
Len signed a two-year deal with the Hawks in 2018 and had expressed interest in re-signing with the team.
“One-hundred percent — I wanted to stay,” Len said. “I like the coaching staff. I liked my teammates. Everyone was cool. It really had a family feel to it. Last year, you could see the trajectory was going up…This season didn’t work out as planned, so they had to make changes. It’s a business, so I understood they had to do it.”
Len was traded to the Kings along with Jabari Parker in exchange for Dewayne Dedmon and a pair of second-round picks.
The fact that Dedmon had already played for the Hawks and they already had Clint Capela, left Len confused as to why the Hawks would trade him for another center.
“They didn’t want to pay [Dedmon] in the first place, so it didn’t make sense to me,” Len said. “If they wanted him, they could have just paid him. So they get him as a backup now and end up paying him anyway.”
Len also admitted that he didn’t know what to expect when he got to Sacramento.
He mentioned that the experience playing with the Kings was a “pleasant surprise” and how the Hawks and Kings franchises differed.
“There was a whole different mood and vibe around the team because we were going for the eighth spot,” Len said. “When I was (in Atlanta), it’s tough to play knowing you’re not making the playoffs. You go into the game, and guys are thinking about their points and themselves. (In Sacramento), it’s all about team and winning. Guys don’t care how many points they score; it’s all about winning. Everybody was playing a lot harder. We were playing all five guys on a string. It makes your job easier because everybody else is a lot better.”