The Sacramento Kings cleaned house in their front office after the team fell short of the postseason once again, as Vlade Divac stepped down as general manager. For a team that seems on the cusp of being a playoff contender, their next hire is an important one.
As is the case with so many smaller market teams, the biggest job of the basketball operations department is nailing the draft, and the final nail in the coffin of Divac’s tenure was selecting Marvin Bagley III over Luka Doncic, the latter of whom earned a first team All-NBA spot in his sophomore season. The next Kings GM or head of basketball operations or whatever they choose for the title will have to bring in talent to elevate this team to the next level, and given Sacramento isn’t a major free agent destination, that means nailing the draft and making savvy trades and signings.
It appears the Kings have decided on who that will be, as Rockets assistant GM Monte McNair will reportedly take over as the head of basketball operations, per The Athletic’s Sam Amick and Shams Charania — although, somewhat confusingly, one said head of basketball ops while the other said GM and, honestly, I don’t know if that’s a meaningful difference or not.
The Sacramento Kings are hiring Houston Rockets assistant GM Monte McNair as new head of basketball operations, sources tell me and @sam_amick.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 17, 2020
The Kings have hired Monte McNair for their GM position, sources tell myself and @ShamsCharania
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) September 17, 2020
Whatever the case, McNair is now tasked with the monumental challenge of building a perennial playoff contender in Sacramento, something they haven’t been able to do there in nearly two decades. There have been shimmers of hope, but organizational dysfunction and missteps have always derailed positive steps forward. This year offered further inclination that this is a team on the precipice of being good, but needs something more. McNair’s job will be finding and bringing that something to Sacramento, a job much easier said than done.