Name the NBA franchise most in need of a shakeup in the front office and a fresh way of looking at things?
The Sacramento Kings have to be a top-three answer. At worst.
Enter new Sacramento general manager Monte McNair. In the bubble, the Kings played like a team without an identity, so one of his first actions was to tell coach Luke Walton the Kings will be an uptempo, transition team. Again. Like they were in the 2018-19 season when they finished as the nine seed. Then McNair hired Alvin Gentry as an assistant coach to have a ready replacement if Walton should fall short.
Next step, McNair has remade the front office staff, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
New Kings GM Monte McNair is reshaping his front office, hiring former Hawks GM Wes Wilcox as assistant GM, Philadelphia’s Phil Jabour as VP of Player Personnel and OKC’s Paul Johnson as Director of Basketball Operations, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 14, 2020
Wes Wilcox is the most interesting of those hires — he was one of the finalists for the Sacramento GM job that McNair got. Wilcox also was Atlanta’s general manager for a couple of years until 2017, and recently was in the mix for the Bulls GM job. He’s an experienced NBA front office mind who has worked in Cleveland, Miami, and New Orleans.
There is a lot of work to do, a lot of questions to be answered this offseason in Sacramento: Do they offer De'Aaron Fox a max contract extension? How much do they pay to re-sign Bogdan Bogdanovic, who is a restricted free agent? Do they listen to Buddy Hield‘s desire to be traded? Do they guarantee the final year of Nemanja Bjelica’s contract at $7.2 million? Do they bring back Kent Bazemore, and at what price?
The Kings have Fox and Marvin Bagley III as young franchise anchors (if Bagley can stay healthy), but McNair and his new front office have a lot of work to build a roster around those guys. There also is pressure to make the playoffs — the Kings haven’t been in 14 years, one short of tying the Donald Sterling Clippers for the longest drought in league history. Ownership doesn’t like being in that conversation.
McNair has assembled his team. That is step one.